Assembly and processing of avian retroviral gag polyproteins containing linked protease dimers.


:Assembly and maturation of retroviral particles requires the aggregation and controlled proteolytic cleavage of polyprotein core precursors by a precursor-encoded protease (PR). Active, mature retroviral PR is a dimer, and the accumulation of precursors at sites of assembly may facilitate subunit interaction and subsequent activation of this enzyme. In addition, it has been suggested that cellular cytoplasmic components act as inhibitors of PR activity, so that processing is delayed until the nascent virions leave this compartment and separate from the surface of host cells. To investigate the mechanisms that control PR activity during virus assembly, we studied the in vivo processing of retroviral gag precursors that contain tandemly linked PR subunits in which dimerization is concentration independent. Sequences encoding four different linked protease dimers were independently joined to the end of the Rous sarcoma virus (RSV) gag gene in a simian virus 40-based plasmid vector which expresses a myristoylated gag precursor upon transfection of COS-1 cells. Three of these plasmids produced gag precursors that were incorporated into viruslike particles and proteolytically cleaved by the dimers to mature core proteins that were indistinguishable from the processed products of wild-type gag. The amount of viral gag protein that was assembled and packaged in these transfections was inversely related to the relative proteolytic activities of the linked PR dimers. The fourth gag precursor, which contained the most active linked PR dimer, underwent rapid intracellular processing and did not form viruslike particles. In the absence of the plasma membrane targeting signal, processing of all four linked PR dimer-containing gag precursors was completed entirely within the cell. From these results, we conclude that the delay in polyprotein core precursor processing that occurs during normal virion assembly does not depend on a cytoplasmic inhibitor of PR activity. We suggest that dimer formation is not only necessary but may be sufficient for the initiation of PR-directed maturation of gag and gag-pol precursors.


J Virol


Journal of virology


Burstein H,Bizub D,Skalka AM




Has Abstract


1991-11-01 00:00:00












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    pub_type: 杂志文章


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