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

Common and Specific Properties of Herpesvirus UL34/UL31 Protein Family Members Revealed by Protein Complementation Assay.

The proteins encoded by the UL34 and UL31 genes of herpes simplex virus are conserved among herpesviruses. They form a complex that is essential for the egress of the herpesvirus nucleocapsids from the nucleus. In previous work on the homologous protein complex in murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV), we defined their mutual binding domains. Here, we started to map binding domains within the UL34/ UL31 proteins of alpha-, beta-, and gammaherpesviruses and to locate other functional properties. A protein complementation assay (PCA) using the TEM-1 beta-lactamase fragments fused to UL31 and UL34 protein homologues was used to study protein-protein interactions in cells. Wild-type MCMV M50 and M53 provided a strong reaction in the PCA, whereas mutants unable to form a complex did not. The homologous pairs of herpes simplex virus type 1, pseudorabies virus, human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and murine herpes virus 68 proteins also reacted, with the exception of the EBV proteins. Cross-complementation was found to be positive only within the same herpesvirus subfamily. Moreover, the HCMV homologues rescued replication-defective MCMV genomes lacking one or the other gene. We identified the binding site of M53 for M50 in the first conserved region (CR1) (M. Loetzerich, Z. Ruzsics, and U. H. Koszinowski, J. Virol. 80:73-84). Here we show that the CR1 of all tested UL31 proteins contains the UL34 binding site, and chimeric proteins carrying the subfamily-specific CR1 rescued the ability to cross-complement in the PCA.[1]


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