Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) virus is a tick-borne, negative-sense, single-stranded RNA [ssRNA(-)] nairovirus that produces fever, prostration, and severe hemorrhages in humans. With fatality rates for CCHF ranging up to 70% based on several factors, CCHF is considered a dangerous emerging disease. Originally identified in the former Soviet Union and the Congo, CCHF has rapidly spread across large sections of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Recent reports have identified a viral homologue of the ovarian tumor protease superfamily (vOTU) within its L protein. This protease has subsequently been implicated in downregulation of the type I interferon immune response through cleavage of posttranslational modifying proteins ubiquitin (Ub) and the Ub-like interferon-simulated gene 15 (ISG15). Additionally, homologues of vOTU have been suggested to perform similar roles in the positive-sense, single-stranded RNA [ssRNA(+)] arteriviruses. By utilizing X-ray crystallographic techniques, the structure of vOTU covalently bound to ubiquitin propylamine, a suicide substrate of the enzyme, was elucidated to 1.7 Å, revealing unique structural elements that define this new subclass of the OTU superfamily. In addition, kinetic studies were carried out with aminomethylcoumarin (AMC) conjugates of monomeric Ub, ISG15, and NEDD8 (neural precursor cell expressed, developmentally downregulated 8) substrates in order to provide quantitative insights into vOTU's preference for Ub and Ub-like substrates.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science