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

Association with capsid proteins promotes nuclear targeting of simian virus 40 DNA.

All animal DNA viruses except pox virus utilize the cell nucleus as the site for virus reproduction. Yet, a critical viral infection process, nuclear targeting of the viral genome, is poorly understood. The role of capsid proteins in nuclear targeting of simian virus 40 (SV40) DNA, which is assessed by the nuclear accumulation of large tumor (T) antigen, the initial sign of the infectious process, was tested by two independent approaches: antibody interception experiments and reconstitution experiments. When antibody against viral capsid protein Vp1 or Vp3 was introduced into the cytoplasm, the nuclear accumulation of T antigen was not observed in cells either infected or cytoplasmically injected with virion. Nuclearly introduced anti-Vp3 IgG also showed the inhibitory effect. In the reconstitution experiments, SV40 DNA was allowed to interact with protein components of the virus, either empty particles or histones, and the resulting complexes were tested for the capability of protein components to target the DNA to the nucleus from cytoplasm as effectively as the targeting of DNA in the mature virion. In cells injected with empty particle-DNA, but not in minichromosome-injected cells, T antigen was observed as effectively as in SV40-injected cells. These results demonstrate that SV40 capsid proteins can facilitate transport of SV40 DNA into the nucleus and indicate that Vp3, one of the capsid proteins, accompanies SV40 DNA as it enters the nucleus during virus infection.[1]


  1. Association with capsid proteins promotes nuclear targeting of simian virus 40 DNA. Nakanishi, A., Clever, J., Yamada, M., Li, P.P., Kasamatsu, H. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1996) [Pubmed]
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