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Genes Cells. 2001 Jun;6(6):545-57.

Sendai virus C protein physically associates with Stat1.

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Department of Microbiology, Fukui Medical University, Shimoaizuki 23-3, Matsuoka-cho, Yoshida-gun, Fukui 910-1193, Japan.



The P/C gene of the Sendai virus (SeV), a member of the family Paramyxoviridae, encodes C protein, which plays a crucial role in counteracting the antiviral effect of interferon (IFN). The C protein blocks IFN signalling to prevent the activation of IFN stimulated genes. However, its underlying molecular mechanism remains to be defined.


Signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (Stat1) is a critical component of IFN-alpha/beta and IFN-gamma signalling. We found that both unphosphorylated Stat1 and tyrosine-phosphorylated (pY) Stat1 were present in a form of aberrant high molecular weight complexes (HMWCs) of over 2 MDa in infected cell extracts under low-salt conditions. Of recombinant vaccinia viruses carrying each SeV gene, only those expressing the C gene induced Stat1-HMWC. SeV infected cell extracts further displayed an in vitro ability to convert the pY-Stat1 homodimer to pY-Stat1-HMWC. This cell extract activity was not seen after removal of the C protein from the extracts. C protein was therefore involved in the formation of HMWCs. The HMWCs decomposed into smaller complexes in a high-salt buffer, and under this stringent (high-salt) condition, as well as a physiological (isotonic) condition, both unphosphorylated Stat1 and pY-Stat1 were co-precipitated with anti-C antibody.


The C protein physically associates with Stat1. This suggests that SeV C protein directly targets Stat1 for inhibitory control on the transcriptional activation of IFN stimulated genes.

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