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Comparative Study
, 9 (12), 4189-95

An Endoprotease Homologous to the Blood Clotting Factor X as a Determinant of Viral Tropism in Chick Embryo

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Comparative Study

An Endoprotease Homologous to the Blood Clotting Factor X as a Determinant of Viral Tropism in Chick Embryo

B Gotoh et al. EMBO J.

Abstract

Host cell proteases responsible for activation of viral fusion glycoproteins are an important determinant for spread and tropism of various animal viruses. Exemplifying such proteases for the first time, we isolated an endoprotease from chick embryo, that activates para- and orthomyxovirus fusion glycoproteins by cleaving their precursor proteins at a specific, single arginine site. The protease is a calcium dependent serine protease consisting of two subunits, the 33 kd catalytic chain and the 23 kd chain possibly required for Ca2+ binding, and was found to be highly homologous, if not identical, to the blood clotting factor X(FX), a member of the prothrombin family. Its high efficiency and specificity in cleavage reactions was attributable to the properties characteristic of FX. Its role in vivo was strongly supported by cleavage inhibition in ovo highly selective for this virus group with a specific peptide inhibitor against FX.

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