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Virology. 1991 Dec;185(2):689-97.

Processing of nonstructural proteins NS4A and NS4B of dengue 2 virus in vitro and in vivo.

Author information

1
Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena 91125.

Abstract

The production, from polyprotein precursors, of two hydrophobic nonstructural proteins of dengue 2 (DEN2) virus, NS4A and NS4B, was analyzed both in cell-free systems and in infected cells. In DEN2-infected cells, NS4B is first produced as a peptide of apparent size 30 kDa; NS4B is then post-translationally modified, in an unknown way, to produce a polypeptide of apparent size 28 kDa. The rate and extent of NS4B modification was found to be cell-dependent; in BHK cells the half-time for the conversion of the 30-kDa form to the 28-kDa form was 90 min. N-terminal sequence analysis of NS4B suggests that the N-terminus is produced by an enzyme with a specificity similar to that of signalase. Low levels of a putative polyprotein, NS4AB, were also found in mammalian cells, but not mosquito cells, infected with DEN2, suggesting that a small proportion of DEN2 4A/4B cleavage can occur post-translationally or that some nonstructural polyproteins escape normal processing. Cleavage of the 4A/4B bond in infected cells required expression of DEN2 sequences in addition to those in NS4A and NS4B, as NS4AB produced in cells by a vaccinia expression system was not cleaved. NS4AB produced in cells by a vaccinia expression system was modified post-translationally, presumably in the same way as NS4B. We show that upon translation of DEN2 polyproteins in a cell-free system, the N-terminus of NS4A is generated by cleavage by the viral nonstructural proteinase NS3 and that processing of DEN2 polyproteins occurs with a preferred, but nonobligatory order.

PMID:
1683727
DOI:
10.1016/0042-6822(91)90540-r
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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