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J Virol. 2010 Oct;84(20):10792-801. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01168-10. Epub 2010 Aug 4.

Small peptide inhibitors disrupt a high-affinity interaction between cytoplasmic dynein and a viral cargo protein.

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Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA), Department of Biotechnology, Autovia A6 Km 7, 28040 Madrid, Spain.


Several viruses target the microtubular motor system in early stages of the viral life cycle. African swine fever virus (ASFV) protein p54 hijacks the microtubule-dependent transport by interaction with a dynein light chain (DYNLL1/DLC8). This was shown to be a high-affinity interaction, and the residues gradually disappearing were mapped on DLC8 to define a putative p54 binding surface by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The potential of short peptides targeting the binding domain to disrupt this high-affinity protein-protein interaction was assayed, and a short peptide sequence was shown to bind and compete with viral protein binding to dynein. Given the complexity and number of proteins involved in cellular transport, the prevention of this viral-DLC8 interaction might not be relevant for successful viral infection. Thus, we tested the capacity of these peptides to interfere with viral infection by disrupting dynein interaction with viral p54. Using this approach, we report on short peptides that inhibit viral growth.

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