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

Mapping of a region of the paramyxovirus L protein required for the formation of a stable complex with the viral phosphoprotein P.

The paramyxovirus large protein (L) and phosphoprotein ( P) are both required for viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase activity. Previous biochemical experiments have shown that L and P can form a complex when expressed from cDNA plasmids in vivo. In this report, L and P proteins of the paramyxovirus simian virus 5 (SV5) were coexpressed in HeLa T4 cells from cDNA plasmids, and L- P complexes were examined. To identify regions of the SV5 L protein that are required for L- P complex formation, 16 deletion mutants were constructed by mutagenesis of an SV5 L cDNA. Following coexpression of these L mutants with cDNA-derived P and radiolabeling with 35S-amino acids, cell lysates were analyzed for stable L- P complexes by a coimmunoprecipitation assay and by sedimentation on 5 to 20% glycerol gradients. Mutant forms of L containing deletions that removed as much as 1,008 residues from the C-terminal half of the full-length 2,255-residue L protein were detected in complexes with P by these two assays. In contrast, large deletions in the N-terminal half of L resulted in proteins that were defective in the formation of stable L- P complexes. Likewise, L mutants containing smaller deletions that individually removed N-terminal regions which are conserved among paramyxovirus and rhabdovirus L proteins (domain I, II, or III) were also defective in stable interactions with P. These results suggest that the N-terminal half of the L protein contains sequences important for stable L- P complex formation and that the C-terminal half of L is not directly involved in these interactions. SV5-infected HeLa T4 cells were pulse-labeled with 35S-amino acids, and cell extracts were examined by gradient sedimentation. Solubilized L protein was detected as an approximately 8 to 10S species, while the P protein was found as both a approximately 4S form (approximately 85%) and a species that cosedimented with L (approximately 15%). These data provide the first biochemical evidence in support of a simple domain structure for an L protein of the nonsegmented negative-sense RNA viruses. The results are discussed in terms of a structural model for the L protein and the interactions of L with the second viral polymerase subunit P.[1]


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