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

The size and symmetry of B capsids of herpes simplex virus type 1 are determined by the gene products of the UL26 open reading frame.

Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) B capsids are composed of seven proteins, designated VP5, VP19C, 21, 22a, VP23, VP24, and VP26 in order of decreasing molecular weight. Three proteins (21, 22a, and VP24) are encoded by a single open reading frame (ORF), UL26, and include a protease whose structure and function have been studied extensively by other investigators. The protease encoded by this ORF generates VP24 (amino acids 1 to 247), a structural component of the capsid and mature virions, and 21 (residues 248 to 635). The protease also cleaves C-terminal residues 611 to 635 of 21 and 22a, during capsid maturation. Protease activity has been localized to the N-terminal 247 residues. Protein 22a and probably the less abundant protein 21 occupy the internal volume of capsids but are not present in virions; therefore, they may form a scaffold that is used for B capsid assembly. The objective of the present study was to isolate and characterize a mutant virus with a null mutation in UL26. Vero cells were transformed with plasmid DNA that encoded ORF UL25 through UL28 and screened for their ability to support the growth of a mutant virus with a null mutation in UL27 (K082). Four of five transformants that supported the growth of the UL27 mutant also supported the growth of a UL27-UL28 double mutant. One of these transformants (F3) was used to isolate a mutant with a null mutation in UL26. The UL26 null mutation was constructed by replacement of DNA sequences specifying codons 41 through 593 with a lacZ reporter cassette. Permissive cells were cotransfected with plasmid and wild-type virus DNA, and progeny viruses were screened for their ability to grow on F3 but not Vero cells. A virus with these growth characteristics, designated KUL26 delta Z, that did not express 21, 22a, or VP24 during infection of Vero cells was isolated. Radiolabeled nuclear lysates from infected nonpermissive cells were layered onto sucrose gradients and subjected to velocity sedimentation. A peak of radioactivity for KUL26 delta Z that sedimented more rapidly than B capsids from wild-type-infected cells was observed. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis of the gradient fractions showed that the peak fractions contained VP5, VP19C, VP23, and VP26. Analysis of sectioned cells and of the peak fractions of the gradients by electron microscopy revealed sheet and spiral structures that appear to be capsid shells.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)[1]


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