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

Identification and characterization of the Bel 3 protein of human foamy virus.

The human foamy virus (HFV) is a complex retrovirus that contains several regulatory and auxiliary bel genes besides the gag, pol, and env genes. In contrast to the gene products of bel 1 and bel 2/bet that were identified previously, the Bel 3 protein has not been described to date. Here we report the identification of Bel 3 in HFV-infected cells by immunoprecipitation, indirect immunofluorescence, and expression cloning under the control of a strong heterologous promoter. Bel 3 was immunoprecipitated with an antiserum directed against a bacterially expressed and purified form of recombinant Bel 3 antigen. Bel 3 was found to be expressed in low amounts in the cytoplasm of HFV-infected cells and to migrate with an apparent molecular mass of 19.4 kDa on electrophoresis in SDS-polyacrylamide gels, consistent with the calculated value of 18.2 kDa. Radioimmunoprecipitation of HFV-infected cell lysates with the hyperimmune serum against Bel 3 revealed at least two additional immunoreactive bands of 15.5 and 10.6 kDa. The results indicate that Bel 3 was labile, because it was partially degraded even at early time points after infection. On transfection and expression in transfected COS cells, recombinant Bel 3 was immunoprecipitated and migrated in three polypeptide bands of 18.7, 14.8, and 9.3 kDa under denaturing conditions. In the absence of reducing agents, the bacterially expressed and purified recombinant Bel 3 protein of 16.1 kDa can form homodimers of 30 kDa.[1]


  1. Identification and characterization of the Bel 3 protein of human foamy virus. Weissenberger, J., Flügel, R.M. AIDS Res. Hum. Retroviruses (1994) [Pubmed]
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