Research ArticleBIOCHEMISTRY

Viperin catalyzes methionine oxidation to promote protein expression and function of helicases

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Science Advances  28 Aug 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 8, eaax1031
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aax1031


Helicases play pivotal roles in fundamental biological processes, and posttranslational modifications regulate the localization, function, and stability of helicases. Here, we report that methionine oxidation of representative helicases, including DNA and RNA helicases of viral (ORF44 of KSHV) and cellular (MCM7 and RIG-I) origin, promotes their expression and functions. Cellular viperin, a major antiviral interferon-stimulated gene whose functions beyond host defense remain largely unknown, catalyzes the methionine oxidation of these helicases. Moreover, biochemical studies entailing loss-of-function mutations of helicases and a pharmacological inhibitor interfering with lipid metabolism and, hence, decreasing viperin activity indicate that methionine oxidation potently increases the stability and enzyme activity of these helicases that are critical for DNA replication and immune activation. Our work uncovers a pivotal role of viperin in catalyzing the methionine oxidation of helicases that are implicated in diverse fundamental biological processes.

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