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Protein Expr Purif. 2000 Nov;20(2):196-206.

Expression and purification of an active, full-length hepatitis C viral NS4A.

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Department of Life Science, Division of Molecular and Life Sciences, Pohang University of Science and Technology, San 31, Hyoja-Dong, Pohang, Kyungbuk, 790-784, Korea.


The nonstructural protein 3 (NS3) of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a bifunctional protein with protease and helicase activities. Nonstructural protein 4A (NS4A) is preceded by NS3 and augments the proteolytic activity of NS3 through protein-protein interaction. The central domain of NS4A has been shown to be sufficient for the enhancement of the NS3 protease activity. However, investigations on the roles of the N-terminal and the C-terminal regions of NS4A have been hampered by the difficulty of purification of full-length NS4A, a polypeptide that contains highly hydrophobic amino acid residues. Here we report a procedure by which one can produce and purify an active, full-length NS4A using maltose-binding protein fusion method. The full-length NS4A fused to the maltose binding protein is soluble and maintains its NS3 protease-enhancing activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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