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Virology. 1997 Oct 13;237(1):66-77.

Induction of intracellular membrane rearrangements by HAV proteins 2C and 2BC.

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School of Biological Sciences, University of California, Irvine, California 92697, USA.


Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is distinguished from other picornaviruses by its slow and relatively poor, noncytopathic growth in cultures of mammalian cells. The 2C and 2BC proteins of HAV have been implicated in the determination of virus growth in cultured cells. The homologous proteins from other picornaviruses, such as poliovirus, have been demonstrated to exhibit multiple activities, such as RNA binding, nucleotide binding and NTPase, and membrane binding and reorganization. At least some of these activities are required for viral RNA replication. We report here that HAV 2C and 2BC proteins, like their poliovirus counterparts, can induce rearrangement of intracellular membranes and directly or indirectly interact with membranes. Therefore, the inefficient replication properties of HAV are not consequences of the inherent ability of 2C (2BC) to interact with membranes. The effect of 2C (2BC) protein sequences derived from a cell culture-adapted (cc) strain of HAV was compared with that of corresponding protein sequences from either a wild-type (wt) strain of HAV or a faster replicating cytopathic (cp) strain. The analysis demonstrated that mutations acquired in wt virus during adaptation to cell culture do not change dramatically either the ability of these proteins to associate with membranes and induce membrane alterations or the specific architecture of the induced membrane structures. On the other hand, 2C, but not 2BC, protein from the cp strain of HAV induced different membrane structures.

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