Aichi virus (AiV), which is associated with acute gastroenteritis in humans, is a member of the genus Kobuvirus of the family Picornaviridae. Picornavirus genome replication occurs in replication complexes that include viral nonstructural proteins, host proteins and viral RNA. In poliovirus, all nonstructural proteins are found in the replication complexes, suggesting the ability of the viral nonstructural proteins to interact with each other. In this study, we examined the interactions between the AiV nonstructural proteins using a mammalian two-hybrid system. The results showed that all of the tested proteins could interact with more than one protein. We observed homodimerization of five proteins, bidirectional heterodimerization of six protein pairs, and unidirectional heterodimerization of eighteen protein pairs. Among the interactions detected in this study, the 2A-2BC, 2A-2BC, 2A-2C, 2BC-3CD, 2BC-3C, 2C-3C, 2C-3CD and 3AB-3C interactions have not been observed in the previous two-hybrid studies with other picornaviruses. The strongest interaction was observed between 2A and 3CD. AiV 2A has already been shown to be involved in genome replication. Domain mapping of the 2A and 3CD interaction in mammalian two-hybrid analysis revealed that the C-terminal quarter of 2A is not required for the interaction with 3CD.
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