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Virology. 1997 Jan 6;227(1):111-8.

Structure-function analysis of coxsackie B3 virus protein 2B.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Expression of poliovirus protein 2B in mammalian cells inhibits protein secretion and increases the susceptibility of the cells to hygromycin B, consistent with the increase in plasma membrane permeability seen during poliovirus infection (J. R. Doedens and K. Kirkegaard, EMBO J. 14, 894-907, 1995). We report here that expression of protein 2B of the closely related coxsackie B3 virus (CBV3) leads to the same biochemical alterations. Analysis of several mutant CBV3 2B proteins that contain mutations in a predicted cationic amphipathic alpha-helix (F. J. M. van Kuppeveld, J. M. D. Galama, J. Zoll, P. J. J. C. van den Hurk, and W. J. G. Melchers, J. Virol. 70, 3876-3886, 1996) demonstrated that the integrity of this domain is crucial for both biochemical functions of 2B. Mutations in a second hydrophobic domain (F. J. M. van Kuppeveld, J. M. D. Galama, J. Zoll, and W. J. G. Melchers, J. Virol. 69, 7782-7790, 1995), on the other hand, are more disruptive to the ability of CBV3 2B to inhibit protein secretion than to increase membrane permeability. Therefore, inhibition of protein secretion is not merely a consequence of the membrane changes that increase uptake of hygromycin B. The existence of mutations that interfere with virus growth but do not impair the ability of 2B to inhibit protein secretion or increase membrane permeability argues for additional functions of protein 2B.

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