Homology modeling and analysis of structure predictions of the bovine rhinitis B virus RNA dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp)

Devendra K. Rai, Elizabeth Rieder

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15 Scopus citations


Bovine Rhinitis B Virus (BRBV) is a picornavirus responsible for mild respiratory infection of cattle. It is probably the least characterized among the aphthoviruses. BRBV is the closest relative known to Foot and Mouth Disease virus (FMDV) with a ∼43% identical polyprotein sequence and as much as 67% identical sequence for the RNA dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), which is also known as 3D polymerase (3Dpol). In the present study we carried out phylogenetic analysis, structure based sequence alignment and prediction of three-dimensional structure of BRBV 3Dpol using a combination of different computational tools. Model structures of BRBV 3Dpol were verified for their stereochemical quality and accuracy. The BRBV 3Dpol structure predicted by SWISS-MODEL exhibited highest scores in terms of stereochemical quality and accuracy, which were in the range of 2Å resolution crystal structures. The active site, nucleic acid binding site and overall structure were observed to be in agreement with the crystal structure of unliganded as well as template/primer (T/P), nucleotide tri-phosphate (NTP) and pyrophosphate (PPi) bound FMDV 3Dpol (PDB, 1U09 and 2E9Z). The closest proximity of BRBV and FMDV 3Dpol as compared to human rhinovirus type 16 (HRV-16) and rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) 3Dpols is also substantiated by phylogeny analysis and root-mean square deviation (RMSD) between C-α traces of the polymerase structures. The absence of positively charged α-helix at C terminal, significant differences in non-covalent interactions especially salt bridges and CH-pi interactions around T/P channel of BRBV 3Dpol compared to FMDV 3Dpol, indicate that despite a very high homology to FMDV 3Dpol, BRBV 3Dpol may adopt a different mechanism for handling its substrates and adapting to physiological requirements. Our findings will be valuable in the design of structure-function interventions and identification of molecular targets for drug design applicable to Aphthovirus RdRps.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8998-9013
Number of pages16
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • Aphthovirus
  • BRBV
  • Homology modeling


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