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Crystal Structure of the Rabies Virus Nucleoprotein-RNA Complex

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Science  21 Jul 2006:
Vol. 313, Issue 5785, pp. 360-363
DOI: 10.1126/science.1125280

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  1. Fig. 1.

    Overall structure of the N-RNA complex. (A) Ribbon diagram of the 11-nucleotide oligomer N-RNA ring structure as viewed from the bottom. Each N protomer is colored differently. The RNA is shown as a black coil. (B) View of the inside of the ring structure; only six protomers are depicted in different colors with the NTD on the top and the CTD on the bottom. The path of the RNA is shown as a coil in a clockwise 5′ to 3′ orientation. The top arrow indicates that the NTDs do not interact with each other; the bottom arrow points toward the extensive interface between CTDs. (C) Ribbon diagram of the N protomer; the NTD is shown in dark blue and the CTD in light blue. The helical secondary structure elements are numbered consecutively. (D) Space-filling model of the N protomer reveals that the RNA is completely clamped at the interface of the NTD and the CTD and thus is not accessible as a template for the polymerase.

  2. Fig. 2.

    Nucleoprotein-RNA interaction. (A) Stereo view of a close up of the interaction between N and the RNA. The RNA is shown as stick model and the protein moiety as a coil; the NTD is depicted in dark blue and the CTD in light blue. The nucleotides with bases facing the solvent are drawn in yellow and the bases facing the protein in green. The central nucleotide at the tip of the left-hand helical RNA segment is shown in red. Residues contacting the phosphates and ribose moieties are shown as sticks. (B) Schematic drawing highlighting the protein-RNA interactions with the phosphates and the ribose moieties. Color coding and orientations of the bases are the same as in (A). Most interactions are with the ribose-phosphate backbone.

  3. Fig. 3.

    Two hinge regions stabilize polymerization of N. (A) Space-filling model of the N-RNA ring as viewed from the side. Each protomer is shown in a different color. This indicates that the NTD hinge from protomer M reaches over to M+1 and its CTD hinge reaches over to M–1. This arrangement leads to the interaction of both M–1 NTD and M+1 CTD with each other and the surface of protomer M. (B) A close up of this interaction. Protomer M is shown in a light gray for clarity; both hinge regions are drawn as coils; and key residues implicated in interaction are shown as sticks.

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