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Tiny T antigen: an autonomous polyomavirus T antigen amino-terminal domain.

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  • Research Article


Three mRNAs from the murine polyomavirus early region encode the three well-characterized tumor antigens. We report the existence of a fourth alternatively spliced mRNA which encodes a fourth tumor antigen, tiny T antigen, which comprises the amino-terminal domain common to all of the T antigens but is extended by six unique amino acid residues. The amount of tiny T antigen in infected cells is small because of its short half-life. Tiny T antigen stimulates the ATPase activity of Hsc70, most likely because of its DnaJ-like motif. The common amino-terminal domain may interface with chaperone complexes to assist the T antigens in carrying out their diverse functions of replication, transcription, and transformation in the appropriate cellular compartments.

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