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    Circoviruses are the smallest single-stranded DNA viruses that infect mammalian species, avian species, fish, and insects. The infections of circoviruses are known to be associated with a series of fatal diseases, but the protease of circovirus still remains unknown. In this research, we identified viral capsid protein (Cap) as the protease of porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2), to our knowledge the first circoviruses protease to be reported. First, we found that the expression of host proteins is affected due to PCV2 infection in the porcine kidney (PK-15) cells. Then, by proteomic analysis, 253 host proteins that were down regulated were identified due to direct or indirect effects of PCV2. Further, Cap expression, but not other ORFs of PCV2, significantly reduced both JMJD6 (bifunctional arginine demethylase and lysyl-hydroxylase) and CCT5 (the chaperonin containing TCP1 subunit 5) in PK-15 cells. Finally, the results in vitro hydrolysis assays demonstrated that Cap could directly degraded either JMJD6 or CCT5 with different catalytic efficiency. In summary, our study expands repertoire of PCV2 Cap and promotes the development of inhibitors toward the anti-PCV2.


    Xuechen Yang, Wei Yang, Wei Zhang, Jiamei Li, Guoyu Yang, Shuhong Zhao, Yueting Zheng. Cap Is the Protease of the Porcine Circovirus 2. Viruses. 2022 Jul 15;14(7)

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    PMID: 35891530

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