Hepatitis E virus (HEV), a human plus-stranded RNA virus, contains three open reading frames (ORF). Of these, ORF1 encodes the viral nonstructural polyprotein, ORF2 encodes the major capsid protein, and ORF3 codes for a phosphoprotein of undefined function. Recently, using the yeast two-hybrid system to screen a human cDNA liver library, we have isolated and characterized AMBP (α1-microglobulin/bikunin precursor), which specifically interacts with the ORF3 protein of HEV. The ORF3 protein expedites the processing and secretion of α1-microglobulin. When checked individually for interaction, the second processed protein from AMBP, bikunin, strongly interacted with the full-length ORF3 protein. This protein-protein interaction has been validated by immunoprecipitation in both COS-1 and Huh7 cells and by His6 pull-down assays. In dual-labeling immunofluorescent staining, followed by fluorescence microscopy of transfected human liver cells, ORF3 colocalized with endogenously expressed bikunin. Finally, a 41-amino-acid C-terminal region of ORF3 has been found to be responsible for interacting with bikunin. The importance of this virus-host protein-protein interaction, with reference to the viral life cycle, has been discussed.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Virology|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2005|