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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1997 Sep 8;238(1):119-25.

Evaluation of the susceptibility of the 3C proteases of hepatitis A virus and poliovirus to degradation by the ubiquitin-mediated proteolytic system.

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Department of Chemistry, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine 04240, USA.


The picornavirus 3C proteases are required for the processing of viral polyproteins during infections of host cells. Here we report that the 3C protease of the hepatitis A virus, like that of the encephalomyocarditis virus, is a substrate for rapid, ubiquitin-mediated degradation in vitro. Ubiquitin was shown to stimulate the turnover of the hepatitis virus 3C protease, and labeled protease was found to become incorporated into a mixture of high molecular weight species, which is characteristic of conjugation with polyubiquitin chains. In the presence of methylated ubiquitin, a new 33 kDa species formed, consistent with the generation of a monoubiquitin-3C protease conjugate. The rate of degradation of the 3C protease was reduced by inhibitors of the 26S proteasome. A similar evaluation of the 3C protease of poliovirus revealed that it is stable protein and is not conjugated with ubiquitin. It was also determined that the hepatitis A and encephalomyocarditis virus 3C proteases compete with each other for conjugation with ubiquitin and for degradation. This suggests that the two 3C proteases are both recognized by the same ubiquitin system enzyme, or enzymes, responsible for selecting them as targets for destruction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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