Structural studies on the authentic mumps virus nucleocapsid showing uncoiling by the phosphoprotein

Academic Article


  • Mumps virus (MuV) is a highly contagious pathogen, and despite extensive vaccination campaigns, outbreaks continue to occur worldwide. The virus has a negative-sense, single-stranded RNA genome that is encapsidated by the nucleocapsid protein (N) to form the nucleocapsid (NC). NC serves as the template for both transcription and replication. In this paper we solved an 18-A˚-resolution structure of the authentic MuV NC using cryo-electron microscopy. We also observed the effects of phosphoprotein (P) binding on the MuV NC structure. The N-terminal domain of P (PNTD) has been shown to bind NC and appeared to induce uncoiling of the helical NC. Additionally, we solved a 25-A˚-resolution structure of the authentic MuV NC bound with the C-terminal domain of P (PCTD). The location of the encapsidated viral genomic RNA was defined by modeling crystal structures of homologous negative strand RNA virus Ns in NC. Both the N-terminal and C-terminal domains of MuV P bind NC to participate in access to the genomic RNA by the viral RNA-dependent-RNA polymerase. These results provide critical insights on the structure-function of the MuV NC and the structural alterations that occur through its interactions with P.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Cox R; Pickar A; Qiu S; Tsao J; Rodenburg C; Dokland T; Elson A; He B; Luo M
  • Start Page

  • 15208
  • End Page

  • 15213
  • Volume

  • 111
  • Issue

  • 42