NS5A is a multifunctional non-structural protein of classical swine fever virus (CSFV) that plays an important role in viral replication, but how it exerts its functions is unknown. Here, we report the cleavage of NS5A of the vaccine C-strain, resulting in two truncated forms (b and c). Further experiments using calpain- and caspase-family-specific inhibitors, followed by a caspase-6-specific shRNAs and inhibitor, showed that the cleavage of C-strain NS5A to produce truncated form c is mediated by caspase-6, mapping to 272DTTD275, while the cleavage producing truncated form b is probably mediated by another unknown protease. shRNA-mediated downregulation of caspase-6 and blocking of enzyme activity in ST cells significantly impaired genome replication and virus production, indicating that NS5A cleavage is required for CSFV replication.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 20, 2016
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