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PLoS One. 2011 May 3;6(5):e19275. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0019275.

A bioinformatics approach to the structure, function, and evolution of the nucleoprotein of the order mononegavirales.

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Department of Microbiology and the Center for Computational Biology, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, USA.

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  • PLoS One. 2011;6(5). doi:10.1371/annotation/6e05f8a1-c49a-4102-a8c9-188e8dc6290e.


The goal of this Bioinformatic study is to investigate sequence conservation in relation to evolutionary function/structure of the nucleoprotein of the order Mononegavirales. In the combined analysis of 63 representative nucleoprotein (N) sequences from four viral families (Bornaviridae, Filoviridae, Rhabdoviridae, and Paramyxoviridae) we predict the regions of protein disorder, intra-residue contact and co-evolving residues. Correlations between location and conservation of predicted regions illustrate a strong division between families while high- lighting conservation within individual families. These results suggest the conserved regions among the nucleoproteins, specifically within Rhabdoviridae and Paramyxoviradae, but also generally among all members of the order, reflect an evolutionary advantage in maintaining these sites for the viral nucleoprotein as part of the transcription/replication machinery. Results indicate conservation for disorder in the C-terminus region of the representative proteins that is important for interacting with the phosphoprotein and the large subunit polymerase during transcription and replication. Additionally, the C-terminus region of the protein preceding the disordered region, is predicted to be important for interacting with the encapsidated genome. Portions of the N-terminus are responsible for N∶N stability and interactions identified by the presence or lack of co-evolving intra-protein contact predictions. The validation of these prediction results by current structural information illustrates the benefits of the Disorder, Intra-residue contact and Compensatory mutation Correlator (DisICC) pipeline as a method for quickly characterizing proteins and providing the most likely residues and regions necessary to target for disruption in viruses that have little structural information available.

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