NMR structure shows that the SARS-unique domain contains a macrodomain fold
Chatterjee, A., Johnson, M. A., Serrano, P., Pedrini, B., Joseph, J. J., Neuman, B. W., Saikatendu, K., Buchmeier, M. J., Kuhn, P. and Wuthrich, K. (2008) NMR structure shows that the SARS-unique domain contains a macrodomain fold. Journal of Virology, 83. pp. 12998-13008. ISSN 0022-538X
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1128/JVI.01781-08
The NMR structure of a central segment of the previously annotated "SARS-unique domain" (SUD-M; "middle of the SARS-unique domain") in the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) non-structural protein 3 (nsp3) has been determined. SUD-M(513-651) exhibits a macrodomain fold containing the nsp3-residues 528-648, and there is a flexibly extended N-terminal tail with the residues 513-527 and a C-terminal flexible tail of residues 649-651. As a follow-up to this initial result, we also solved the structure of a construct representing only the globular domain of residues 527-651 [SUD-M(527-651)]. NMR chemical shift perturbation experiments showed that SUD-M(527-651) binds single-stranded poly-A and identified the contact area with this RNA on the protein surface, and electrophoretic mobility shift assays then confirmed that SUD-M has higher affinity for purine bases than for pyrimidine bases. In further search for clues to the function, we found that SUD-M(527-651) has the closest three-dimensional structure homology with another domain of nsp3, the ADP-ribose-1''-phosphatase nsp3b, although the two proteins share only 5% sequence identity in the homologous sequence regions. SUD-M(527-651) also shows 3D structure homology with several helicases and NTP-binding proteins, but it does not contain the motifs of catalytic residues found in these structural homologues. The combined results from NMR screening of potential substrates and the structure-based homology studies now form a basis for more focused investigations on the role of the SARS-unique domain in viral infection.