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Reverse transcriptase of RNA tumor viruses. V. In vitro proteolysis of reverse transcriptase from avian myeloblastosis virus and isolation of a polypeptide manifesting only RNase H activity.

  • M H Lai
  • I M Verma
Publication Date
Feb 01, 1978


Purified avian myeloblastosis virus reverse transcriptase contains two subunits that are structurally related. The large subunit, beta (molecular weight, 95,000), was converted in vitro by chymotrypsin into a polypeptide of molecular weight 63,000. This polypeptide was indistinguishable from the small subunit, alpha (molecular weight, 65,000), in its chromatographic behavior on the phosphocellulose column and its tryptic peptide composition. During this proteolytic conversion, a polypeptide of molecular weight 32,000 (fragment B) was obtained. It was composed of tryptic peptides unique to beta and appeared to be derived from the portion of the beta subunit that was cleaved off during the conversion of beta into alpha. Upon continued proteolysis, a smaller polypeptide of molecular weight 24,000 (fragment A) was generated. This polypeptide manifested only RNase H activity and shared common amino acid sequences with beta and alpha subunits. Fragment A did not share any amino acid sequence homology with fragment B.

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