Send to

Choose Destination
J Virol. 1997 Sep;71(9):6749-56.

Functional and structural analysis of the sialic acid-binding domain of rotaviruses.

Author information

Departamento de Genética y Fisiología Molecular, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico.


The infectivity of most animal rotaviruses is dependent on the interaction of the virus spike protein VP4 with a sialic acid (SA)-containing cell receptor, and the SA-binding domain of this protein has been mapped between amino acids 93 and 208 of its trypsin cleavage fragment VP8. To identify which residues in this region are essential for the SA-binding activity, we performed alanine mutagenesis of the rotavirus RRV VP8 expressed in bacteria as a fusion polypeptide with glutathione S-transferase. Tyrosines were primarily targeted since tyrosine has been involved in the interaction of other viral hemagglutinins with SA. Of the 15 substitutions carried out, 10 abolished the SA-dependent hemagglutination activity of the protein, as well as its ability to bind to glycophorin A in a solid-phase assay. However, only alanine substitutions for tyrosines 155 and 188 and for serine 190 did not affect the overall conformation of the protein, as judged by their interaction with a panel of conformationally sensitive neutralizing VP8 monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). These findings suggest that these three amino acids play an essential role in the SA-binding activity of the protein, presumably by interacting directly with the SA molecule. The predicted secondary structure of VP8 suggests that it is organized as 11 beta-strands separated by loops; in this model, Tyr-155 maps to loop 7 while Tyr-188 and Ser-190 map to loop 9. The close proximity of these two loops is also supported by previous results from competition experiments with neutralizing MAbs directed at RRV VP8.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center