Chlorovirus PBCV-1 encodes an active copper-zinc superoxide dismutase

Ming Kang, Garry A. Duncan, Charles Kuszynski, George Oyler, Jiayin Zheng, Donald F Becker, James L Van Etten

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Superoxide dismutases (SODs) are metalloproteins that protect organisms from toxic reactive oxygen species by catalyzing the conversion of superoxide anion to hydrogen peroxide and molecular oxygen. Chlorovirus PBCV-1 encodes a 187-amino-acid protein that resembles a Cu-Zn SOD with all of the conserved amino acid residues for binding copper and zinc (named cvSOD). cvSOD has an internal Met that results in a 165-amino-acid protein (named tcvSOD). Both cvSOD and tcvSOD recombinant proteins inhibited nitroblue tetrazolium reduction of superoxide anion generated in a xanthine-xanthine oxidase system in solution. tcvSOD was chosen for further characterization because it was easier to produce. Recombinant tcvSOD also inhibited a riboflavin photochemical reduction system in a polyacrylamide gel assay, which was blocked by the Cu-Zn SOD inhibitor cyanide but not by azide, which inhibits Fe and Mn SODs. A kcat/Km value for cvSOD was determined by stop-flow spectrophotometry as 1.28×108M-1 s-1, suggesting that cvSOD-catalyzed O2- dismutation was not a diffusion controlled encounter. The cvsod gene was expressed as a late gene, and cvSOD activity was detected in purified virions. Superoxide accumulated rapidly during virus infection, and circumstantial evidence indicates that cvSOD aids its decomposition to benefit virus replication. Cu-Zn SOD homologs have been described to occur in 3 other families of large DNA viruses, poxviruses, baculoviruses, and mimiviruses, which group as a clade. Interestingly, cvSOD does not group in the same clade as the other virus SODs but instead groups in an expanded clade that includes Cu-Zn SODs from many cellular organisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12541-12550
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology

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