A procedure is presented for isolating the nucleocapsid proteins, N and NP from vesicular stomatitis virus and Sendai virus respectively, in soluble form. These proteins were suitable for the determination of their blocked amino-terminal peptide sequences by gas-liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry at the low nanomole level. The N protein prepared by this procedure was previously shown to retain some of its expected biological activity. The sequence of 626 nucleotides from the 3′ end of the Sendai virus genome, which includes the first one-third of the NP gene, was determined. Using this information, primer extension studies on intracellular Sendai virus mRNAs allowed the determination of the structure of the leader-NP intervening sequence and the 5′ end of the NP mRNA. Comparison of the amino termini of the nucleocapsid proteins with their respective mRNA sequences revealed that these proteins are similarly processed .

Keyword(s): nucleocapsid , Sendai virus and VSV

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