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

Heterodimerization of the two major envelope proteins is essential for arterivirus infectivity.

The two major envelope proteins of arteriviruses, the membrane protein (M) and the major glycoprotein (GP(5)), associate into a disulfide-linked heterodimer that is incorporated into the virion and has been assumed to be a prerequisite for virus assembly. Using an equine arteritis virus (EAV) infectious cDNA clone, we have analyzed the requirement for GP(5)-M heterodimerization and have identified the Cys residues involved in the formation of the GP(5)-M disulfide bond. The single Cys residue (Cys-8) in the M ectodomain was crucial for heterodimerization and virus infectivity. Mutagenesis of any of the five Cys residues in the GP(5) ectodomain or removal of the single GP(5) N-glycosylation site also rendered the full-length clone noninfectious. However, an analysis of revertants yielded an exceptional pseudorevertant in which residues 52 to 79 of the GP(5) ectodomain had been deleted and the original Cys-80-->Ser mutation had been maintained. Consequently, this revertant lacked the GP(5) N-glycosyation site (Asn-56) and retained only a single cysteine residue (Cys-34). By using this GP(5) deletion, we confirmed that Cys-34 of GP(5) and Cys-8 of M are essential for GP(5)-M heterodimerization, a key event in the assembly of the EAV envelope.[1]


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