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Open AccessArticle

Cell Cycle Arrest is a Conserved Function of Norovirus VPg Proteins

Department of Microbiology & Immunology, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, University of Cambridge, Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 OXY, UK.
Viruses 2019, 11(3), 217;
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 26 February 2019 / Accepted: 27 February 2019 / Published: 4 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noroviruses)
Murine norovirus (MNV) viral protein genome-linked (VPg) manipulates the cell cycle to induce a G0/G1 arrest and gain a beneficial replication environment. All viruses of the norovirus genus encode a VPg protein; however, it is unknown if the G0/G1 arrest induced by MNV VPg is conserved in other members of the genus. RNA transcripts encoding a representative viral VPg from five norovirus genogroups were transfected into RAW-Blue murine macrophages, and the percentage of cells in each phase of the cell cycle was determined. A G0/G1 cell cycle arrest was observed for all norovirus VPg proteins tested, and in the wider Caliciviridae family the arrest was also conserved in rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) VPg and human sapovirus (HuSV) VPg. Truncation of MNV VPg shows that the first 62 amino acids are sufficient for a cell cycle arrest, and alignment of VPg sequences revealed a conserved motif in the N-terminal region of VPg. Analysis of VPg constructs with single N-terminal region point mutations, or exchange of N-terminal regions between VPg proteins, confirmed the importance of the N-terminal region for cell cycle arrest. These results provide evidence that G0/G1 cell cycle arrest is a conserved function of norovirus VPg proteins that involves the N-terminal region of these proteins. View Full-Text
Keywords: cell cycle; norovirus; Caliciviridae; VPg; G0/G1; MNV cell cycle; norovirus; Caliciviridae; VPg; G0/G1; MNV
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McSweeney, A.; Davies, C.; Ward, V.K. Cell Cycle Arrest is a Conserved Function of Norovirus VPg Proteins. Viruses 2019, 11, 217.

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