Infection of tissue culture cells with vaccinia virus results in the specific secretion of several polypeptides into the medium. Previous studies identified a protein of approximate 35000 (35K) which was secreted in large amounts at both early and late times after infection with the Evans strain. We now show that a related protein is secreted by the Lister strain but not by WR, Wyeth nor Tian Tan. The gene encoding the Lister strain 35K protein was mapped within the inverted terminal repeats of the genome. The DNA sequence of this region showed that the ends of this gene are very similar to previously published sequences flanking a gene of WR which encodes a protein of approximate 7500 (7.5K). Our results suggest that the 7.5K polypeptide of WR may have arisen as a result of a deletion event and is a truncated form of the 35K Lister protein. Site-directed mutagenesis demonstrated that the 35K secreted protein encoded by Lister is not essential for growth in tissue culture.


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