Re-evaluating the p7 viroporin structure
Oestringer BP., Bolivar JH., Hensen M., Claridge JK., Chipot C., Dehez F., Holzmann N., ZITZMANN N., SCHNELL JR.
The hepatitis C virus (HCV) p7 viroporin is a membrane protein required for virus propagation in vivo that assembles into hexamers and heptamers in membranes, exhibits ion channel activity, and is an attractive target against HCV infection. OuYang and colleagues reported an oligomeric structure of p7 solubilized in dodecylphosphocholine (DPC) detergent, with unexpected features. Here we show that p7 is monomeric in the conditions that were used to determine its oligomeric structure and that the data presented as evidence for intermolecular contacts is likely to arise from incomplete protein deuteration. We conclude that p7 is monomeric under NMR conditions, and that the oligomeric structure proposed by OuYang et al. is artefactual.