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Characterization of vaccinia virus A12L protein proteolysis and its participation in virus assembly

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Author(s): Yang Su Jung

Journal: Virology Journal
ISSN 1743-422X

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 78;
Date: 2007;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract Vaccinia virus (VV) undergoes a proteolytic processing to evolve from immature virus particles into intracellular mature virus particles. Most of structural core protein precursors such as p4a, p4b, and p25K are assembled into previrions and then proteolytically processed to yield core proteins, 4a, 4b, and 25 K, which become components of a mature virus particle. These structural rearrangements take place at a conserved cleavage motif, Ala-Gly-X (where X is any amino acid) and catalyzed by a VV encoded proteinase, the I7L gene product. The VV A12L gene product, a 25 kDa protein synthesized at late times during infection is cleaved at an N-terminal AG/A site, resulting in a 17 kDa cleavage product. However, due to the distinct characteristics of A12L proteolysis such as the localization of both the A12L full-length protein and its cleavage product in mature virions and two putative cleavage sites (Ala-Gly-Lys) located at internal and C-terminal region of A12L ORF, it was of interest to examine the A12L proteolysis for better understanding of regulation and function of VV proteolysis. Here, we attempted to examine the in vivo A12L processing by: determining the kinetics of the A12L proteolysis, the responsible viral protease, and the function of the A12L protein and its cleavage events. Surprisingly, the A12L precursor was cleaved into multiple peptides not only at an N-terminal AG/A but also at both an N- and a C-terminus. Despite the involvement of I7L proteinase for A12L proteolysis, its incomplete processing with slow kinetics and additional cleavages not at the two AG/K sites demonstrate unique regulation of VV proteolysis. An immunoprecipitation experiment in concert with N-terminal sequencing analyses and mass spectrometry led to the identification of VV core and membrane proteins, which may be associated with the A12L protein and suggested possible involvement of A12L protein and its cleavage products in multiple stages in virus morphogenesis.

Tango Jona
Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona

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