Structure-function relationships of the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase: Fidelity, replication speed, and initiation mechanism determined by a residue in the ribose-binding pocket

Victoria S. Korneeva, Craig E. Cameron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

Studies of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) from poliovirus (PV), 3Dpol, have shown that Asn-297 permits this enzyme to distinguish ribose from 2′-deoxyribose. All animal RNA viruses have Asn at the structurally homologous position of their polymerases, suggesting a conserved function for this residue. However, all prokaryotic RNA viruses have Glu at this position. In the presence of Mg2+, the apparent affinity of Glu-297 3Dpol for 2′-deoxyribonucleotides was decreased by 6-fold relative to wild type without a substantial difference in the fidelity of 2′-dNMP incorporation. The fidelity of ribonucleotide misincorporation for Glu-297 3Dpol was reduced by 14-fold relative to wild type. A 4- to 11-fold reduction in the rate of ribonucleotide incorporation was observed. Glu-297 PV was unable to grow in HeLa cells due to a replication defect equivalent to that observed for a mutant PV encoding an inactive polymerase. Evaluation of the protein-(VPg)-primed initiation reaction showed that only half of the Glu-297 3Dpol initiation complexes were capable of producing VPg-pUpU product and that the overall yield of uridylylated VPg products was reduced by 20-fold relative to wild-type enzyme, a circumstance attributable to a reduced affinity for UTP. These studies identify the first RdRp derivative with a mutator phenotype and provide a mechanistic basis for the elevated mutation frequency of RNA phage relative to animal RNA viruses observed in culture. Although protein-primed initiation and RNA-primed elongation complexes employ the same polymerase active site, the functional differences reported here imply significant structural differences between these complexes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16135-16145
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume282
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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