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Farmaco. 2001 Jan-Feb;56(1-2):33-6.

Characterisation of inter- and intra-molecular interactions of the dengue virus RNA dependent RNA polymerase as potential drug targets.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, James Cook University, Townsville, Qld., Australia.


Our research is directed towards enhancing the understanding of the molecular biology of dengue virus replication with the ultimate goal being to develop novel antiviral strategies based on preventing critical inter- or intra-molecular interactions required for the normal virus life cycle. The viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (NS5) and the viral helicase (NS3) interaction offers a possible target for inhibitors to bind and prevent replication. In this study the yeast-two hybrid system was used to show that a small region of NS5 interacts with NS3, and also with the cellular nuclear transport receptor importin-beta. Furthermore, intramolecular interaction between the two putative domains of NS5 can also be detected by the yeast two-hybrid assay. We have also modified the colony lift assay for the beta-galactosidase reporter activity in intact yeast cells which reflects the strength of interaction between two proteins to a microtiter plate format. This assay offers a unique opportunity to screen for small molecule compounds that block physiologically important interactions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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