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The methyltransferase domain of the Respiratory Syncytial Virus L protein catalyzes cap N7 and 2’-O-methylation

Abstract : Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a negative sense single-stranded RNA virus and one of the main causes of severe lower respiratory tract infections in infants and young children. RSV RNA replication/transcription and capping are ensured by the viral Large (L) protein. The L protein contains a polymerase domain associated with a polyribonucleotidyl transferase domain in its N-terminus, and a methyltransferase (MTase) domain followed by the C-terminal domain (CTD) enriched in basic amino acids at its C-terminus. The MTase-CTD of Mononegavirales forms a clamp to accommodate RNA that is subsequently methylated on the cap structure and depending on the virus, on internal positions. These enzymatic activities are essential for efficient viral mRNA translation into proteins, and to prevent the recognition of uncapped viral RNA by innate immunity sensors. In this work, we demonstrated that the MTase-CTD of RSV, as well as the full-length L protein in complex with phosphoprotein (P), catalyzes the N7- and 2’- O -methylation of the cap structure of a short RNA sequence that corresponds to the 5’ end of viral mRNA. Using different experimental systems, we showed that the RSV MTase-CTD methylates the cap structure with a preference for N7-methylation as first reaction. However, we did not observe cap-independent internal methylation, as recently evidenced for the Ebola virus MTase. We also found that at μM concentrations, sinefungin, a S-adenosylmethionine analogue, inhibits the MTase activity of the RSV L protein and of the MTase-CTD domain. Altogether, these results suggest that the RSV MTase domain specifically recognizes viral RNA decorated by a cap structure and catalyzes its methylation, which is required for translation and innate immune system subversion.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03352803
Contributor : Jean-François Eléouët Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, September 23, 2021 - 3:36:10 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, December 1, 2021 - 3:32:22 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, December 24, 2021 - 8:59:53 PM

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Priscila Sutto-Ortiz, Sergey Tcherniuk, Nina ysebaert, Pravien Abeywickrema, Mathieu Noël, et al.. The methyltransferase domain of the Respiratory Syncytial Virus L protein catalyzes cap N7 and 2’-O-methylation. PLoS Pathogens, Public Library of Science, 2021, 17 (5), pp.e1009562. ⟨10.1371/journal.ppat.1009562⟩. ⟨hal-03352803⟩

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