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

Functional domains of murine cytomegalovirus nuclear egress protein M53/ p38.

Two conserved herpes simplex virus 1 proteins, UL31 and UL34, form a complex at the inner nuclear membrane which governs primary envelopment and nuclear egress of the herpesvirus nucleocapsids. In mouse cytomegalovirus, a member of the betaherpesvirus subfamily, the homologous proteins M53/ p38 and M50/ p35 form the nuclear egress complex (NEC). Since the interaction of these proteins is essential for functionality, the definition of the mutual binding sites is a prerequisite for further analysis. Using a comprehensive random mutagenesis procedure, we have mapped the M53/ p38 binding site of M50/ p35 (A. Bubeck, M. Wagner, Z. Ruzsics, M. Lötzerich, M. Iglesias, I. R. Singh, and U. H. Koszinowski, J. Virol. 78:8026-8035). Here we describe a corresponding analysis for the UL31 homolog M53/ p38. A total of 72 individual mutants were reinserted into the genome to test the complementation of the lethal M53 null phenotype. The mutants were also studied for colocalization and for coprecipitation with M50/ p35. The analysis revealed that the nonconserved N-terminal one-third of M53/ p38 provides the nuclear localization signal as an essential function. The collective results for many mutants localized the binding site for M50/ p35 to amino acids (aa) 112 to 137. No single aa exchange for alanine could destroy NEC formation, but virus attenuation revealed a major role for aa K128, Y129, and L130. The lethal phenotype of several insertion and stop mutants indicated the functional importance of the C terminus of the protein.[1]


  1. Functional domains of murine cytomegalovirus nuclear egress protein M53/p38. Lötzerich, M., Ruzsics, Z., Koszinowski, U.H. J. Virol. (2006) [Pubmed]
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