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Virology. 1994 Jan;198(1):92-9.

Mechanism of interferon action motif I of the interferon-induced, RNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR) is sufficient to mediate RNA-binding activity.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of California at Santa Barbara 93106.


The interferon-induced P1/eIF-2 alpha protein kinase cDNA, designated PKR, was expressed both in Escherichia coli and in transfected monkey COS cells. TrpE-PKR fusion proteins and PKR nonfusion proteins were examined for their RNA-binding activity by Northwestern blot analysis. PKR is a RNA-binding protein that possesses two copies of a highly conserved motif, RI and RII, within the N-terminal region of the protein. Amino acid residues between 11 and 243 of PKR, which includes both copies of the R motif, displayed RNA-binding activity comparable to that of the full-length 551-amino-acid PKR protein. Analysis of substitution and deletion mutant PKR proteins revealed that motif RI was both necessary and sufficient for RNA-binding activity, whereas motif RII was not. Substitution of the highly conserved lysine at position 64 within the RI motif abolished RNA-binding activity, both of full-length PKR and the N-terminal 243-amino-acid truncated PKR. Finally, PKR substitution and deletion mutant cDNAs deficient for kinase function were expressed to much higher levels in transfected monkey cells than was the full-length wild-type PKR cDNA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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