BioScience Trends. 2021;15(1):16-23. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2020.03317)

Role of key amino acids in the transmembrane domain of the Newcastle disease virus fusion protein

Huang Y, Liu Y, Li Y, Liu Y, Zhang C, Wen H, Zhao L, Song Y, Wang L, Wang Z


Newcastle disease (ND), caused by the Newcastle disease virus (NDV), is transmitted by poultry with severe infectivity and a high fatality rate. The fusion (F) protein on the NDV envelope facilitates the merger of the viral and host cell membranes with the help of the homologous hemagglutininneuraminidase protein (HN). The transmembrane (TM) domains of viral fusion proteins are typically required for fusion, but the key amino acids in NDV F TM domains have not been identified. Sitedirected mutagenesis was utilized to change the conserved amino acids at 500, 501, 502, 505, 510, 513, 516, 519, and 520 to alanine. It was found that mutants L519 and V520 had an interrupted protein expression, decreased to below 10%, and mutants A500, I505, V513, and V516 had a hypoactive impact on fusion activity, decreased to 85.38%, 67.05%, 55.38% and 51.13% of wt F, respectively. The results indicated that the TM domain plays a vital part in the fusion activity of the NDV F protein.

KEYWORDS: NDV, fusion protein, transmembrane domain, cell fusion

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