The effector domain (ED) of the influenza virus virulence factor NS1 is capable of interaction with a variety of cellular and viral targets, although regulation of these events is poorly understood. Introduction of a W187A mutation into the ED abolishes dimer formation; however, strand–strand interactions between mutant NS1 ED monomers have been observed in two previous crystal forms. A new condition for crystallization of this protein [0.1 M Bis-Tris pH 6.0, 0.2 M NaCl, 22%(w/v) PEG 3350, 20 mM xylitol] was discovered using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method. Diffraction data extending to 1.8 Å resolution were collected from a crystal grown in the presence of 40 mM thieno[2,3-b]pyridin-2-ylmethanol. It was observed that there is conservation of the strand–strand interface in crystals of this monomeric NS1 ED in three different space groups. This observation, coupled with conformational changes in the interface region, suggests a potential role for β-sheet augmentation in NS1 function.
Keywords: effector domains, influenza virus, virulence factors, NS1, β-sheet augmentation