Publications & Reports

Mutagenesis of a conserved fusion peptide-like motif and membrane-proximal heptad-repeat region of hepatitis C virus glycoprotein E1.

Drummer HE, Boo I, Poumbourios P
Centre for Virology, Burnet Institute Melbourne, Victoria 3004, Australia.


The E1E2 glycoprotein heterodimer of Hepatitis C virus mediates viral entry. E2 attaches the virus to cellular receptors; however, the function of E1 is unknown. We tested the hypothesis that E1 is a truncated class II fusion protein. We mutated amino acids within a predicted fusion peptide (residues 276-286) and a truncated C-terminal stem-like motif, containing a membrane-proximal heptad-repeat sequence (residues 330-347). The fusion peptide mutation F285A abolished viral entry, while mutation of other hydrophobic residues had no effect. Alanine replacement of heptad-repeat residues blocked entry in three of five cases, whereas substitution with the helix breaker, Pro, led to loss of entry function in all cases. The mutations did not affect glycoprotein expression, heterodimerization with E2 or global folding, in contrast to the effects of mutations in the fusion motifs of prototypical class II fusion proteins. Our data suggest that E1 is unlikely to function in an analogous manner to other class II fusion glycoproteins.


  • Journal: The Journal of General Virology
  • Published: 01/04/2007
  • Volume: 88
  • Issue: Pt 4
  • Pagination: 1144-1148


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