Prenylation of viral proteins by enzymes of the host: Virus-driven rationale for therapy with statins and FT/GGT1 inhibitors

Bioessays 39 (10):1700014 (2017)
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Intracellular bacteria were recently shown to employ eukaryotic prenylation system for modifying activity and ensuring proper intracellular localization of their own proteins. Following the same logic, the proteins of viruses may also serve as prenylation substrates. Using extensively validated high-confidence prenylation predictions by PrePS with a cut-off for experimentally confirmed farnesylation of hepatitis delta virus antigen, we compiled in silico evidence for several new prenylation candidates, including IRL9 and few other proteins encoded by Herpesviridae, Nef, E1A, NS5A, PB2, HN, L83L, MC155R, other Poxviridae proteins, and some bacteriophages of human associated bacteria. If confirmed experimentally, these findings may aid in dissection of molecular functions of uncharacterized viral proteins and provide a novel rationale for statin and FT/GGT1-based inhibition of viral infections. Prenylation of bacteriophage proteins may aid in moderation of microbial infections. Many human viruses, including HCV, HIV1, ASFV, and a number of Adeno-, Pox-, and herpesviruses, including CMV, encode the substrates for mammalian prenylation enzymes. Prenylation is advantageous for viral infection; its suppression by FT/GGT and FPPS inhibitors has antiviral effects. In bacteriophages, prenylation may aid in moderation of microbial infections.



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