Control of the interferon-induced double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) activated protein kinase (referred to as P68 because of its Mr of 68,000 in human cells) by animal viruses is essential to avoid decreases in protein synthetic rates during infection. We have previously demonstrated that poliovirus establishes a unique way of regulating the protein kinase, namely by inducing the specific degradation of P68 during infection (T. L. Black, B. Safer, A. Hovanessian, and M. G. Katze, J. Virol. 63:2244-2251, 1989). In the present study we investigated the mechanisms by which P68 degradation occurred. To do this we used an in vitro degradation assay which faithfully reproduced the in vivo events. Although viral gene expression was required for P68 degradation, the major poliovirus proteases, 2A and 3C, were found not to be directly involved with P68 proteolysis. However, the protease responsible for P68 degradation required divalent cations for maximal activity and probably has both an RNA and a protein component since trypsin and ribonuclease abrogated the activity. Despite this requirement for divalent cations and RNA, activation of the kinase was not required for proteolysis since a catalytically inactive P68 was still degraded. Mapping of P68 protease-sensitive sites by using in vitro translated truncation and deletion mutants revealed that sites required for degradation resided in the amino terminus and colocalized to dsRNA-binding domains. Finally, we found that preincubation of cell extracts with the synthetic dsRNA poly(I-C) largely prevented P68 proteolysis, providing additional evidence for the critical role of RNA. On the basis of these data, we present a hypothetical model depicting possible mechanisms of P68 degradation in poliovirus-infected cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science