The kinetics of synthesis of [S]methionine-labelled respiratory syncytial virus-specific proteins were studied in CV-1 cells infected at high multiplicity. Immunoprecipitated viral proteins resolved by SDS-PAGE were quantified by scanning fluorographs of protein bands. The nucleocapsid (N) protein was detectable by 2 h post-infection (p.i.), whereas the phospho- (P), matrix (M) and fusion (F) proteins and Vp24 (a matrix-like protein) were first detected between 4 and 6 h p.i. Synthesis of the glyco- (G) protein was first detected at 6 h p.i. and reached its peak synthesis rate at 10 h p.i. Virus-specific P, M and Vp24 proteins were phosphorylated in infected cells. The P protein was highly phosphorylated in purified virions whereas phosphorylated species of the M and Vp24 proteins were minor components. The phosphorylated form of the P protein was detected by monoclonal antibody precipitation, confirming the identity of this protein. The N protein was not phosphorylated in infected cells or in virions. Synthesis of [S]methionine-labelled proteins preceded detectable P labelling by several hours. The putative phosphorylated M protein was detected at 6 h p.i. before phosphorylated forms of P and Vp24 were seen. The timing of appearance of the phosphorylated species of P and Vp24 proteins in infected cells corresponded to the release of infectious virions from infected cell monolayers at 10 to 12 h p.i.


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