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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
 
 
 

Analysis of capsid formation of human polyomavirus JC (Tokyo-1 strain) by a eukaryotic expression system: splicing of late RNAs, translation and nuclear transport of major capsid protein VP1, and capsid assembly.

Human polyomavirus JC (JCV) can encode the three capsid proteins VP1, VP2, and VP3, downstream of the agnoprotein in the late region. JCV virions are identified in the nucleus of infected cells. In this study, we have elucidated unique features of JCV capsid formation by using a eukaryotic expression system. Structures of JCV polycistronic late RNAs ( M1 to M4 and possibly M5 and M6) generated by alternative splicing were determined. VP1 would be synthesized from M2 RNA, and VP2 and VP3 would be synthesized from M1 RNA. The presence of the open reading frame of the agnoprotein or the leader sequence (nucleotides 275 to 409) can decrease the expression level of VP1. VP1 was efficiently transported to the nucleus in the presence of VP2 and VP3 but distributed both in the cytoplasm and in the nucleus in their absence. Mutation analysis indicated that inefficiency in nuclear transport of VP1 is due to the unique structure in the N-terminal sequence, KRKGERK. Within the nucleus, VP1 was localized discretely and identified as speckles in the presence of VP2 and VP3 but distributed diffusely in their absence. These results suggest that VP1 was efficiently transported to the nucleus and localized in the discrete subnuclear regions, possibly with VP2 and VP3. By electron microscopy, recombinant virus particles were identified in the nucleus, and their intranuclear distribution was consistent with distribution of speckles. This system provides a useful model with which to understand JCV capsid formation and the structures and functions of the JCV capsid proteins.[1]

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