The mature reverse transcriptase molecules in virions of mouse mammary tumor virus possess protease-derived sequences

Michal Entin-Meer, Orna Avidan, Amnon Hizi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Our efforts to express in bacteria the enzymatically active reverse transcriptase (RT) of mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) have shown that the RT is active only after adding 27 amino acid residues, which are derived from the end of the pro gene, to the amino-terminus of the RT (Biochem, J. (1998) 329, 579-587). In the present study we have tested whether the mature RT found in virions is also fused to protease-derived sequences. To this end, we have analyzed the RT molecules in virions of MMTV by using two antisera directed against peptides, derived from either the carboxyl-terminus of MMTV protease or the middle of MMTV RT. The data suggest that the mature RT, located in virions, contains at its amino-terminus sequences from the carboxyl-terminus of the protease protein. This finding supports previous suggestions that MMTV RT is a transframe protein (derived from both pro and pol reading frames of MMTV) and that amino acid residues located at the carboxyl-terminus of the protease have a dual usage as integral parts of both the protease and the RT enzymes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-162
Number of pages6
JournalVirology
Volume310
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 25 May 2003

Keywords

  • Frameshifting
  • Mouse mammary tumor virus
  • Protease
  • Reverse transcriptase
  • Transframe proteins

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