Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Structural Biology and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Structural and molecular basis of interaction of HCV non-structural protein 5A with human casein kinase 1α and PKR

Govindarajan Sudha1, Subburaj Yamunadevi12, Nidhi Tyagi13, Saumitra Das4 and Narayanaswamy Srinivasan1*

Author Affiliations

1 Molecular Biophysics Unit, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, 560 012, India

2 German cancer research center, Bioquant, Heidelberg, Germany

3 European Bioinformatics Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK

4 Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, 560 012, India

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Structural Biology 2012, 12:28  doi:10.1186/1472-6807-12-28

Published: 13 November 2012

Abstract

Background

Interaction of non-structural protein 5A (NS5A) of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) with human kinases namely, casein kinase 1α (ck1α) and protein kinase R (PKR) have different functional implications such as regulation of viral replication and evasion of interferon induced immune response respectively. Understanding the structural and molecular basis of interactions of the viral protein with two different human kinases can be useful in developing strategies for treatment against HCV.

Results

Serine 232 of NS5A is known to be phosphorylated by human ck1α. A structural model of NS5A peptide containing phosphoacceptor residue Serine 232 bound to ck1α has been generated using the known 3-D structures of kinase-peptide complexes. The substrate interacting residues in ck1α has been identified from the model and these are found to be conserved well in the ck1 family. ck1α – substrate peptide complex has also been used to understand the structural basis of association between ck1α and its other viral stress induced substrate, tumour suppressor p53 transactivation domain which has a crystal structure available.

Interaction of NS5A with another human kinase PKR is primarily genotype specific. NS5A from genotype 1b has been shown to interact and inhibit PKR whereas NS5A from genotype 2a/3a are unable to bind and inhibit PKR efficiently. This is one of the main reasons for the varied response to interferon therapy in HCV patients across different genotypes. Using PKR crystal structure, sequence alignment and evolutionary trace analysis some of the critical residues responsible for the interaction of NS5A 1b with PKR have been identified.

Conclusions

The substrate interacting residues in ck1α have been identified using the structural model of kinase - substrate peptide. The PKR interacting NS5A 1b residues have also been predicted using PKR crystal structure, NS5A sequence analysis along with known experimental results. Functional significance and nature of interaction of interferon sensitivity determining region and variable region 3 of NS5A in different genotypes with PKR which was experimentally shown are also supported by the findings of evolutionary trace analysis. Designing inhibitors to prevent this interaction could enable the HCV genotype 1 infected patients respond well to interferon therapy.

Keywords:
Casein kinase 1α; Hepatitis C virus; Interferon therapy; Kinase-substrate complex; Non-structural protein 5A; Protein kinase R