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The Protein p30, Encoded at thegag-proJunction of Mouse Mammary Tumor Virus, is a dUTPase Fused with a Nucleocapsid Protein

Authors
Journal
Virology
0042-6822
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
204
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1006/viro.1994.1547
Disciplines
  • Biology

Abstract

Abstract A ribosomal frameshift at the gag-pro junction of mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) gives rise to the protein p30. The protein consists of two domains, the zinc-finger-containing nucleocapsid (NC) protein portion with 95 residues and a C-terminal extension comprising 154 residues. The C-terminal domain shows similarity in sequence with the enzyme dUTPase from other sources. In this paper, we demonstrate that p30 is a functional dUTPase. Overproduction of the NC protein in Escherichia coli, using the native frameshift sequence at the gag stop codon, caused a detectable expression of dUTPase ascribed to a low frequency of readthrough. By a 1-base insertion, eliminating the gag stop codon and fusing the gag and pro reading frames, a plasmid, pET-3d-NCDU, directing overexpression of p30, was constructed. The overproduced protein, purified by phosphocellulose chromatography, shows both zinc-binding and dUTPase activity. Analytical gel filtration and sequence homology to other dUTPases suggest a trimeric assembly of p30 subunits. MMTV thus possesses two different forms of the nucleocapsid protein, the ordinary NC protein and the p30, having the NC protein connected to a domain of dUTPase.

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