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Cell. 1996 Oct 18;87(2):331-42.

The crystal structure of hepatitis C virus NS3 proteinase reveals a trypsin-like fold and a structural zinc binding site.

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Agouron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., San Diego, California 92121, USA.


During replication of hepatitis C virus (HCV), the final steps of polyprotein processing are performed by a viral proteinase located in the N-terminal one-third of nonstructural protein 3. The structure of NS3 proteinase from HCV BK strain was determined by X-ray crystallography at 2.4 angstrom resolution. NS3P folds as a trypsin-like proteinase with two beta barrels and a catalytic triad of His-57, Asp-81, Ser-139. The structure has a substrate-binding site consistent with the cleavage specificity of the enzyme. Novel features include a structural zinc-binding site and a long N-terminus that interacts with neighboring molecules by binding to a hydrophobic surface patch.

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