Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists learn structure of enzyme in unusual virus

19.09.2007
Biologists have determined the three-dimensional structure of an unusual viral enzyme that is required in the assembly of new viruses.

The Paramecium bursaria chlorella virus infects a green alga called chlorella, transferring its DNA into host cells. Once inside the chlorella, the virus DNA makes an enzyme called glycosyltransferase, which is needed to produce structural proteins that are assembled to create the outer shells, or capsids, for new virus particles.

In contrast, many viruses commandeer the genes of host cells to make enzymes and proteins, said Ying Zhang, a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Michael Rossmann, Purdue University's Hanley Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences.

The three-dimensional structure of the complete infectious virus had been determined earlier by the same group of researchers and their colleagues. Now they have found the structure of a specific type of glycosyltransferase and also its complex with a molecule called UDP-glucose, which stands for uridine-5-diphosphate-glucose, along with positively charged manganese ions. The manganese ions are critical because they coordinate the binding of the UDP-glucose to the enzyme.

... more about:
»Capsid »Rossmann »Viral »Zhang »glycosyltransferase

The findings are detailed in a research paper appearing in this month's issue of the journal Structure. The paper was written by Zhang; Purdue postdoctoral researcher Ye Xiang; James Van Etten, the William Allington Distinguished Professor of Plant Pathology at the University of Nebraska; and Rossmann.

Learning the fundamental mechanisms for how this glycosyltransferase works may later enable scientists to develop drugs that inhibit certain viral infections, Zhang said.

The glycosyltransferase apparently breaks a chemical bond between UDP and the glucose. The glucose is then attached to the roughly 5,000 copies of a protein that assembles to form the viral capsid that surrounds and protects the virus's DNA genome.

"The glucose may be helping to correctly fold the protein while it is being assembled into the capsid," Rossmann said.

In addition, the glucose on the capsid also may be involved in the initiation of the viral infection, he said.

The researchers used X-ray crystallography to determine the structure of the glycosyltransferase enzyme and earlier had used cryoelectron microscopy to determine the three-dimensional structure of the virus.

The work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Research Resources.

Writer: Emil Venere, (765) 494-4709, venere@purdue.edu
Sources: Michael Rossmann, (765) 494-4911, mgr@indiana.bio.purdue.edu
Ying Zhang, yzhang1@bilbo.bio.purdue.edu
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

Emil Venere | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.purdue.edu

Further reports about: Capsid Rossmann Viral Zhang glycosyltransferase

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht First line of defence against influenza further decoded
21.02.2018 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

nachricht Helping in spite of risk: Ants perform risk-averse sanitary care of infectious nest mates
21.02.2018 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

MEMS chips get metatlenses

21.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

International team publishes roadmap to enhance radioresistance for space colonization

21.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

World's first solar fuels reactor for night passes test

21.02.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>