Typical of many viral fusion proteins, the sequence of the Newcastle disease virus (NDV) fusion protein has several heptad repeat regions. One, HR1, is located just carboxyl terminal to the fusion peptide, while the other, HR2, is located adjacent to the transmembrane domain. The structure and function of a synthetic peptide with a sequence from the region of the NDV HR1 region (amino acids 150 to 173) were characterized. The peptide inhibited fusion with a half-maximal concentration of approximately 2 μM; however, inhibition was observed only if the peptide was added prior to protease activation of the fusion protein. This inhibition was virus specific since the peptide had minimal effect on fusion directed by the Sendai virus glycoproteins. To explore the mechanism of action, the potential HR1 peptide interaction with a previously characterized fusion inhibitory peptide with a sequence from the HR2 domain (J.K. Young, R.P. Hicks, G.E. Wright, and T.G. Morrison, Virology 238:291-304, 1997) was characterized. The results demonstrated an interaction between the two peptides both functionally and directly. First, while the individual peptides each inhibit fusion, equimolar mixtures of the two peptides had minimal effect on fusion, suggesting that the two peptides form a complex preventing their interaction with a target protein. Second, an HR2 peptide covalently linked with biotin was found to bind specifically to HR1 peptide in a Western blot. The structure of the HR1 peptide was analyzed by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and found to be an α helix.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science