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J Mol Biol. 2019 Oct 18. pii: S0022-2836(19)30607-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2019.10.011. [Epub ahead of print]

The LC8-RavP ensemble structure evinces a role for LC8 in regulating Lyssavirus polymerase functionality.

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From the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331.
Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle, CNRS UMR-5203 INSERM U1191, University of Montpellier, Montpellier, France.
Université Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, CEA, Institut de Biologie Structurale, 38000, Grenoble, France.
Institut de Biologie Intégrative de La Cellule (I2BC), CEA, CNRS, Université Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay, 91198, Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France.
From the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331. Electronic address:


The rabies and Ebola viruses recruit the highly conserved host protein LC8 for their own reproductive success. In vivo knockouts of the LC8 recognition motif within the rabies virus phosphoprotein (RavP) result in completely non-lethal viral infections. In this work, we examine the molecular role LC8 plays in viral lethality. We show that RavP and LC8 co-localize in rabies infected cells, and that LC8 interactions are essential for efficient viral polymerase functionality. NMR, SAXS, and molecular modeling demonstrate that LC8 binding to a disordered linker adjacent to an endogenous dimerization domain results in restrictions in RavP domain orientations. The resulting ensemble structure of RavP-LC8 tetrameric complex is similar to that of a related virus phosphoprotein that does not bind LC8, suggesting that with RavP, LC8 binding acts as a switch to induce a more active conformation. The high conservation of the LC8 motif in Lyssavirus phosphoproteins and its presence in other analogous proteins such as the Ebola virus VP35 evinces a broader purpose for LC8 in regulating downstream phosphoprotein functions vital for viral replication.


Intrinsically disordered proteins; NMR; SAXS; Virus; protein interactions


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