Crystallization and preliminary X-ray characterization of Epstein–Barr virus BHRF1 in complex with a benzoylurea peptidomimetic Academic Article uri icon


  • BHRF1 is a pro-survival Bcl-2 homologue encoded by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) that plays a key role in preventing premature host cell death during viral infection and may contribute to the development of malignancies associated with chronic EBV infections. The anti-apoptotic action of BHRF1 is based on its ability to sequester pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins, in particular Bim and Bak. These interactions have been previously studied in three dimensions by determining crystal structures of BHRF1 in complex with both Bim and Bak BH3 domains. Screening of a library of peptidomimetic compounds based on the benzoylurea scaffold that mimics critical Bim BH3 domain side chains against BHRF1 led to the identification of an inhibitor of BHRF1 that displays micromolar affinity. Single crystals were obtained from the co-crystallization of recombinant BHRF1 protein with this peptidomimetic compound. The crystals belonged to the orthorhombic space group P2(1)2(1)2(1), with unit-cell parameters a=66.8, b=91.1, c=151.9 Å. Diffraction data were collected to 2.11 Å resolution on the MX2 beamline at the Australian Synchrotron.


publication date

  • December 1, 2012