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The effects of the synonymous codon usage and tRNA abundance on protein folding of the 3C protease of foot-and-mouth disease virus.

Research paper by Jian-hua JH Zhou, Ya-nan YN You, Hao-tai HT Chen, Jie J Zhang, Li-na LN Ma, Yao-zhong YZ Ding, Zygmunt Z Pejsak, Yong-sheng YS Liu

Indexed on: 19 Mar '13Published on: 19 Mar '13Published in: Infection, Genetics and Evolution



Abstract

The 3C protease of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) has a conserved amino acid sequence and is responsible for most cleavage in the viral polyprotein. The effects of the synonymous codon usage of FMDV 3C gene and tRNA abundance of the hosts on shaping different folding units (α-helix, β-strand and the coil) in the 3C protease were analyzed based on the structural information of the FMDV 3C protease from Protein Data Bank (PDB: 2BHG) and 210 genes of 3C for all serotypes of FMDV. The strong correlation between some codons usage and the specific folding unit in the FMDV 3C protease is found. As for the effect of translation speed caused by tRNA abundance on the formation of folding units, the codon positions with lowly abundant tRNA scatter in the 3C gene and there is the obvious fluctuation of tRNA abundance locating in the transition boundaries from the β-strand to the α-helix and the coil, respectively. However, codon positions with lowly abundant tRNA clustering into these boundaries are not found, suggesting that the adjustment of translation speed is likely also achieved by the single codon position with low tRNA abundance rather than a cluster. The observations can provide the information for insight into the role of the synonymous codon usage in the formation of 3C protease of FMDV and effect of the tRNA abundance of the hosts on this formation of protease.