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Viruses 2012, 4(9), 1651-1667; doi:10.3390/v4091651
Review

Uncovering Viral Protein-Protein Interactions and their Role in Arenavirus Life Cycle

1
,
1
,
2
 and
1,*
1 Centro de Virología Animal (CEVAN), Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología Dr. Cesar Milstein, Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONICET), Saladillo 2468, Buenos Aires C1440FFX, Argentina 2 Department of Microbiology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, One Gustave L. Levy Place, New York, NY 10029, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 August 2012 / Revised: 4 September 2012 / Accepted: 10 September 2012 / Published: 20 September 2012
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Abstract

The Arenaviridae family includes widely distributed pathogens that cause severe hemorrhagic fever in humans. Replication and packaging of their single-stranded RNA genome involve RNA recognition by viral proteins and a number of key protein-protein interactions. Viral RNA synthesis is directed by the virus-encoded RNA dependent-RNA polymerase (L protein) and requires viral RNA encapsidation by the Nucleoprotein. In addition to the role that the interaction between L and the Nucleoprotein may have in the replication process, polymerase activity appears to be modulated by the association between L and the small multifunctional Z protein. Z is also a structural component of the virions that plays an essential role in viral morphogenesis. Indeed, interaction of the Z protein with the Nucleoprotein is critical for genome packaging. Furthermore, current evidence suggests that binding between Z and the viral envelope glycoprotein complex is required for virion infectivity, and that Z homo-oligomerization is an essential step for particle assembly and budding. Efforts to understand the molecular basis of arenavirus life cycle have revealed important details on these viral protein-protein interactions that will be reviewed in this article.
Keywords: Tacaribe virus; protein-protein interaction; viral RNA synthesis, virus assembly Tacaribe virus; protein-protein interaction; viral RNA synthesis, virus assembly
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Loureiro, M.E.; D’Antuono, A.; Levingston Macleod, J.M.; López, N. Uncovering Viral Protein-Protein Interactions and their Role in Arenavirus Life Cycle. Viruses 2012, 4, 1651-1667.

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