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Identification and analysis of three myristylated vaccinia virus late proteins.

Martin K.H., Grosenbach D.W., Franke C.A., Hruby D.E.

Previous studies have shown that at least three vaccinia virus (VV) late proteins (with apparent molecular asses of 37, 35, and 25 kDa) label with myristic acid. Time course labeling of VV-infected cells with [3H]myristic acid reveals at least three additional putative myristylproteins, with apparent molecular masses of 92, 17, and 14 kDa. The 25-kDa protein has previously been identified as that encoded by the L1R open reading frame, leaving the identities of the remaining proteins to be determined. Sequence analysis led to the preliminary identification of the 37-, 35-, and 17-kDa proteins as G9R, A16L, and E7R, respectively. Using synthetic oligonucleotides and PCR techniques, each of these open reading frames was amplified by using VV DNA as a template and then cloned individually into expression vectors behind T7 promoters. These plasmid constructs were then transcribed in vitro, and the resulting mRNAs were translated in wheat germ extracts and radiolabeled with either [35S]methionine or [3H]myristic acid. Each wild-type polypeptide was labeled with [35S]methionine or [3H]myristic acid in the translation reactions, while mutants containing an alanine in place of glycine at the N terminus were labeled only with [35S]methionine, not with myristic acid. This result provided strong evidence that the open reading frames had been correctly identified and that each protein is myristylated on a glycine residue adjacent to the initiating methionine. Subcellular fractionations of VV-infected cells suggested that A16L and E7R are soluble, in contrast to L1R, which is a membrane-associated protein.

J. Virol. 71:5218-5226(1997) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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