Serine protease of pestiviruses: Determination of cleavage sites

Norbert Tautz, Knut Elbers, Dieter Stoll, Gregor Meyers, H. J. Thiel*

*Corresponding author for this work
86 Citations (Scopus)


The single-stranded genomic RNA of pestiviruses is of positive polarity and encompasses one large open reading frame of about 4,000 codons. The resulting polyprotein is processed co- and posttranslationally by virus- encoded and host cell proteases to give rise to the mature viral proteins. A serine protease residing in the nonstructural (NS) protein NS3 (p80) has been shown to be essential for the release of the NS proteins located downstream of NS3. In this report the NS3 serine protease-dependent cleavage sites for bovine vital diarrhea virus (BVDV) strain CP7 are described. Proteins used for analysis were generated in Escherichia coli or in eukaryotic cells by the use of the T7 vaccinia virus system. The N termini of NS4A, NS4B, NS5A, and NS5B were determined by protein sequencing. Analysis of the data obtained showed that leucine at P1 is the only position conserved for all cleavage sites. At P1 alanine is found at the NS4A-NS4B site, whereas serine resides at this position at the NS3-NS4A, NS4B-NS5A, and NS5A-NS5B cleavage sites. For all cleavage sites the amino acids found at P1 and P1' are conserved for different genotypes of pestiviruses, despite the high degree of sequence variation found between these viruses. It is therefore assumed that the cleavage sites determined for BVDV CP7 are representative of those for all pestiviruses.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)5415-5422
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 01.07.1997

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)


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