Author(s): Habchi J, Mamelli L, Darbon H, Longhi S
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Abstract Henipaviruses are newly emerged viruses within the Paramyxoviridae family. Their negative-strand RNA genome is packaged by the nucleoprotein (N) within alpha-helical nucleocapsid that recruits the polymerase complex made of the L protein and the phosphoprotein (P). To date structural data on Henipaviruses are scarce, and their N and P proteins have never been characterized so far. Using both computational and experimental approaches we herein show that Henipaviruses N and P proteins possess large intrinsically disordered regions. By combining several disorder prediction methods, we show that the N-terminal domain of P (PNT) and the C-terminal domain of N (NTAIL) are both mostly disordered, although they contain short order-prone segments. We then report the cloning, the bacterial expression, purification and characterization of Henipavirus PNT and NTAIL domains. By combining gel filtration, dynamic light scattering, circular dichroism and nuclear magnetic resonance, we show that both NTAIL and PNT belong to the premolten globule sub-family within the class of intrinsically disordered proteins. This study is the first reported experimental characterization of Henipavirus P and N proteins. The evidence that their respective N-terminal and C-terminal domains are highly disordered under native conditions is expected to be invaluable for future structural studies by helping to delineate N and P protein domains amenable to crystallization. In addition, following previous hints establishing a relationship between structural disorder and protein interactivity, the present results suggest that Henipavirus PNT and NTAIL domains could be involved in manifold protein-protein interactions.
This article was published in PLoS One
and referenced in Biochemistry & Physiology: Open Access