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Virology. 2004 Oct 25;328(2):177-84.

A C-terminal basic amino acid motif of Zaire ebolavirus VP35 is essential for type I interferon antagonism and displays high identity with the RNA-binding domain of another interferon antagonist, the NS1 protein of influenza A virus.

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Special Pathogens Branch, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road MS G-14 Atlanta, GA 30329, USA.


The ebolavirus VP35 protein antagonizes the cellular type I interferon response by blocking phosphorylation of IRF-3, a transcription factor that turns on the expression of a large number of antiviral genes. To identify the domain of VP35 responsible for interferon antagonism, we generated mutations within the VP35 gene and found that a C-terminal basic amino acid motif is required for inhibition of ISG56 reporter gene expression as well as IFN-beta production. Remarkably, this basic amino acid motif displayed high sequence identity with part of the N-terminal RNA-binding domain of another interferon-antagonist, the NS1 protein of influenza A virus.

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