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The replication of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) is dependent on the virus-encoded 3C protease (3Cpro). As in other picornaviruses, 3Cpro performs most of the proteolytic processing of the polyprotein expressed from the single open reading frame in the RNA genome of the virus. Previous work revealed that the 3Cpro from serotype A –one of the seven serotypes of FMDV – adopts a trypsin-like fold. Phylogenetically the FMDV serotypes are grouped into two clusters, with O, A, C, and Asia 1 in one, and the three South African Territories serotypes, (SAT-1, SAT-2 and SAT-3) in another. We report here the cloning, expression and purification of 3C proteases from four SAT serotype viruses (SAT2/GHA/8/91, SAT1/NIG/5/81, SAT1/UGA/1/97, and SAT2/ZIM/7/83) and the crystal structure at 3.2Å resolution of 3Cpro from SAT2/GHA/8/91).
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