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Genes Cells. 2007 Feb;12(2):133-42.

Host factor Ebp1: selective inhibitor of influenza virus transcriptase.

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Department of Frontier Bioscience and Micro-Nano-Technology Research Center, Hosei University, Koganei, Tokyo 184-8584, Japan.


Influenza virus RNA polymerase is composed of three virus-coded proteins, and is involved in both transcription and replication of the negative-strand genome RNA. Subunit PB1 plays key roles in both the RNA polymerase assembly and the catalytic function of RNA polymerization. Using yeast two-hybrid screening, a HeLa cell protein with the molecular mass of 45 kDa was identified. After cloning and sequencing, this protein was identified to be Ebp1, ErbB3-binding protein. Epb1 specifically interacts with PB1 both in vitro and in vivo, and Epb1 contact site on PB1 was mapped at its binding site of transcription primers. Ebp1 was found to interfere with in vitro RNA synthesis by influenza virus RNA polymerase (3P complex), but no inhibition was observed for capped RNA endonuclease and RNA-cap binding, the intrinsic activities of RNA polymerase. Since inhibition was not observed against other nucleic acid polymerases tested, we propose that Ebp1 is a selective inhibitor of influenza viral RNA polymerase. Accordingly over-expression of Ebp1 interfered with virus production. The PB1-contact site on Ebp1 overlaps with the interaction site with ErbB3 (epidermal receptor tyrosine kinase), androgen receptor (AR) and retinoblastoma gene product (Rb), which are involved in controlling cell proliferation and differentiation.

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