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A new serine-protease fold revealed by the crystal structure of human cytomegalovirus protease

Nature volume 383, pages 272275 (19 September 1996) | Download Citation

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Abstract

HUMAN cytomegalovirus (hCMV), a herpesvirus, infects up to 70% of the general population in the United States and can cause morbidity and mortality in immunosuppressed individuals (organ-transplant recipients and AIDS patients) and congenitally infected newborns1. hCMV protease is essential for the production of mature infectious virions, as it performs proteolytic processing near the carboxy terminus (M-site) of the viral assembly protein precursor (for a review, see ref. 2). hCMV protease is a serine protease2, although it has little homology to other clans of serine proteases2,3 Here we report the crystal structure of hCMV protease at 2.0Å resolution, and show that it possesses a new polypeptide backbone fold. Ser 132 and His 63 are found in close proximity in the active site, confirming earlier biochemical and mutagenesis studies2. The structure suggests that the third member of the triad is probably His 157. A dimer of the protease with an extensive interface is found in the crystal structure. This structure information will help in the design and optimization of inhibitors against herpesvirus proteases.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc., PO Box 368, 900 Ridgebury Road, Ridgefield, Connecticut 06877, USA

    • Liang Tong
    •  & Chungeng Qian
  2. Bio-Méga/Boehringer Ingelheim Research, Inc., 2100 rue Cunard, Laval, Quebec H7S 2G5, Canada

    • Marie-Josée Massariol
    • , Pierre R. Bonneau
    • , Michael G. Cordingley
    •  & Lisette Lagacé

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https://doi.org/10.1038/383272a0

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