The cellular chaperone Hsp90 has been shown to associate with the reverse transcriptase (RT) of the duck hepatitis B virus and is required for RT functions. However, the molecular basis for the specific interaction between the RT and Hsp90 remains unknown. Comparison of protein compositional properties suggests that the RT is highly related to the protein kinase c-Raf, which interacts with Hsp90 via the cochaperone p50 (CDC37). We tested whether the RT, like coral, is specifically recognized by p50. Immunoprecipitation and pulldown assays showed that p50 or p50δC, a p50 mutant defective in Hsp90 binding, could interact specifically with the RT both in vitro and in vivo, indicating that p50 can bind the RT independently of Hsp90. Furthermore, purified p50 and p50δC interacted directly with purified RT. The importance of p50-RT interaction for RT functions was underscored by 1) inhibition of protein-primed initiation of reverse transcription by p50δC in vitro and 2) stimulation of viral DNA replication and RNA packaging by p50 and their inhibition by p50δC in transfected cells. These results suggest that p50 can function as a cellular cofactor for the hepadnavirus RT by mediating the interaction between the RT and Hsp90.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology