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J Virol. 2003 Feb;77(3):1757-63.

Rotavirus nonstructural protein NSP5 interacts with major core protein VP2.

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Seccion Virologia, Facultad de Ciencias, Montevideo 11400, Uruguay.


Rotavirus is a nonenveloped virus with a three-layered capsid. The inner layer, made of VP2, encloses the genomic RNA and two minor proteins, VP1 and VP3, with which it forms the viral core. Core assembly is coupled with RNA viral replication and takes place in definite cellular structures termed viroplasms. Replication and encapsidation mechanisms are still not fully understood, and little information is available about the intermolecular interactions that may exist among the viroplasmic proteins. NSP2 and NSP5 are two nonstructural viroplasmic proteins that have been shown to interact with each other. They have also been found to be associated with precore replication intermediates that are precursors of the viral core. In this study, we show that NSP5 interacts with VP2 in infected cells. This interaction was demonstrated with recombinant proteins expressed from baculovirus recombinants or in bacterial systems. NSP5-VP2 interaction also affects the stability of VP6 bound to VP2 assemblies. The data presented showed evidence, for the first time, of an interaction between VP2 and a nonstructural rotavirus protein. Published data and the interaction demonstrated here suggest a possible role for NSP5 as an adapter between NSP2 and the replication complex VP2-VP1-VP3 in core assembly and RNA encapsidation, modulating the role of NSP2 as a molecular motor involved in the packaging of viral mRNA.

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