Structure of a rabies virus polymerase complex from electron cryo-microscopy [article]

Joshua A. Horwitz, Simon Jenni, Stephen C. Harrison, Sean P.J. Whelan
2019 biorxiv/medrxiv   pre-print
Non-segmented negative-stranded (NNS) RNA viruses, among them the virus that causes rabies (RABV), include many deadly human pathogens. The large polymerase (L) proteins of NNS-RNA viruses carry all the enzymatic functions required for viral mRNA transcription and replication: RNA polymerization, mRNA capping, cap methylation. We describe here a complete structure of RABV L bound with its phosphoprotein cofactor (P), determined by electron cryo-microscopy at 3.3 Å resolution. The complex
more » ... resembles vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) L-P, the one other known full-length NNS-RNA L protein structure, with key local differences (e.g., in L-P interactions). Like the VSV L-P structure, the RABV complex analyzed here represents a pre-initiation conformation. Comparison with the likely elongation state, seen in two partial structures of pneumovirus L-P complexes, suggests differences between priming/initiation and elongation complexes. Analysis of internal cavities within RABV L suggests distinct template and product entry and exit pathways during transcription and replication.
doi:10.1101/794073 fatcat:53aepcdyhbe4fnanoosfkpapyi