Structure of the vesicular stomatitis virus nucleocapsid in complex with the nucleocapsid-binding domain of the small polymerase cofactor, P

Academic Article


  • The negative-strand RNA viruses (NSRVs) are unique because their nucleocapsid, not the naked RNA, is the active template for transcription and replication. The viral polymerase of nonsegmented NSRVs contains a large polymerase catalytic subunit (L) and a nonenzymatic cofactor, the phosphoprotein (P). Insight into how P delivers the polymerase complex to the nucleocapsid has long been pursued by reverse genetics and biochemical approaches. Here, we present the X-ray crystal structure of the C-terminal domain of P of vesicular stomatitis virus, a prototypic nonsegmented NSRV, bound to nucleocapsid-like particles. P binds primarily to the C-terminal lobe of 2 adjacent N proteins within the nucleocapsid. This binding mode is exclusive to the nucleocapsid, not the nucleocapsid (N) protein in other existing forms. Localization of phosphorylation sites within P and their proximity to the RNA cavity give insight into how the L protein might be oriented to access the RNA template.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Green TJ; Luo M
  • Start Page

  • 11713
  • End Page

  • 11718
  • Volume

  • 106
  • Issue

  • 28