A transcription/translation system for generating poliovirus proteins has been used to assess the proteolytic activity of various polypeptides containing the virus-coded 3C region towards the poliovirus precursor protein P1. Plasmids containing a phage T7 promoter followed by either the complete poliovirus P1 sequence or various sequences containing the 3C region were used for this purpose. We showed that all except one of the 3C-containing polypeptides had a very restricted activity towards P1, generating only a small amount of VP1 and no VP0 or VP3. The only polypeptide capable of fully processing P1 into VP0, VP3 and VP1 was protein 3CD, consisting of the complete 3C and 3D sequences.


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