Structural Analysis of Monomeric RNA-Dependent Polymerases: Evolutionary and Therapeutic Implications

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From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 10, Issue 9)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 13,611 words
Lexile Measure: 1550L

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Abstract :

The crystal structures of monomeric RNA-dependent RNA polymerases and reverse transcriptases of more than 20 different viruses are available in the Protein Data Bank. They all share the characteristic right-hand shape of DNA- and RNA polymerases formed by the fingers, palm and thumb subdomains, and, in many cases, "fingertips" that extend from the fingers towards the thumb subdomain, giving the viral enzyme a closed right-hand appearance. Six conserved structural motifs that contain key residues for the proper functioning of the enzyme have been identified in all these RNA-dependent polymerases. These enzymes share a two divalent metal-ion mechanism of polymerization in which two conserved aspartate residues coordinate the interactions with the metal ions to catalyze the nucleotidyl transfer reaction. The recent availability of crystal structures of polymerases of the Orthomyxoviridae and Bunyaviridae families allowed us to make pairwise comparisons of the tertiary structures of polymerases belonging to the four main RNA viral groups, which has led to a phylogenetic tree in which single-stranded negative RNA viral polymerases have been included for the first time. This has also allowed us to use a homology-based structural prediction approach to develop a general three-dimensional model of the Ebola virus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. Our model includes several of the conserved structural motifs and residues described in other viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerases that define the catalytic and highly conserved palm subdomain, as well as portions of the fingers and thumb subdomains. The results presented here help to understand the current use and apparent success of antivirals, i.e. Brincidofovir, Lamivudine and Favipiravir, originally aimed at other types of polymerases, to counteract the Ebola virus infection.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A429601022