August 7, 2012

Modelling the interaction between HCV core protein and Protein Kinase A (PKA)

PKA is an important Ser/Thr kinase which is targeted to different cellular locations by a family of proteins known as AKAPs (A Kinase Anchoring Proteins), and thus helping to increase the phosphorylation of neighbouring target proteins. 

We analysed the possibility that the core protein of HCV, which contains a PKA phosphorylation target at Ser116, may act as an AKAP sequestering PKA and whether phosphorylation may modulate this protein-protein interaction. 

The combined use of MSA, Structural Alignment, electrostatic calculations, docking and Molecular Dynamics suggests that the binding between PKA and phosphorylated HCV core may indeed be part of the viral strategy to hijack the host cell machinery using PKA to favour virus release from infected cells.

Astrid Brandner