Mutational and inhibitive analysis of SARS coronavirus 3C-like protease by fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based assays

Wan Fen Kuang, Lu Ping Chow, Mei Hua Wu, Lih Hwa Hwang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

The 3C-like protease (3CLpro) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) plays key roles in viral replication and is an attractive target for anti-SARS drug discovery. In this report, a fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based method was developed to assess the proteolytic activity of SARS-CoV 3CLpro. Two internally quenched fluorogenic peptides, 1NC and 2NC, corresponding to the N-terminal and the C-terminal autocleavage sites of SARS-CoV 3CLpro, respectively, were used as substrates. SARS-CoV 3CLpro seemed to work more efficiently on 1NC than on 2NC in trans-cleavage assay. Mutational analysis demonstrated that the His41 residue, the N-terminal 7 amino acids, and the domain III of SARS-CoV 3CLpro were important for the enzymatic activity. Antibodies recognizing domain III could significantly inhibit the enzymatic activity of SARS-CoV 3CLpro. The effects of class-specific protease inhibitors on the trans-cleavage activity revealed that this enzyme worked more like a serine protease rather than the papain protease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1554-1559
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Volume331
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 17 Jun 2005

Keywords

  • 3C-like protease
  • FRET-based proteolytic assay
  • SARS coronavirus

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