Hepatitis E virus is a human RNA virus containing three open reading frames. Of these, ORF2 encodes the major capsid protein (pORF2) and may possess regulatory functions, in addition to a structural one. In this study, we have shown using the yeast two-hybrid system and in vitro immobilization experiments that full-length pORF2 is capable of self-association, thus forming a homodimer. Using mutational analysis we have studied dimerization of various truncated versions of the ORF2 capsid protein using the yeast two-hybrid system and supported our findings with in vitro immobilization experiments. Deletions of pORF2 reveal a loss of the dimerization potential for all deletions except an N-terminal 127-amino-acid deletion. Our studies suggest that the dimerization property of pORF2 may not be amino-acid sequence dependent but instead a complex formation of a specific tertiary structure that imparts pORF2 its property to self-associate.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|