The potato leafroll luteovirus protein of 17K (pr17), which is encoded by an open reading frame on the 3′ half of the viral genome, was expressed by using bacterial expression vector systems. Fusion proteins were obtained for the full-length viral protein as well as its N-terminal acidic (GST/pr17N) and C-proximal (GST/pr17C) basic domains and used in nucleic acid-binding studies. Filter-bound as well as soluble pr17 bound to single-stranded RNA or DNA. The binding domain was shown to reside in the basic C-proximal part of the polypeptide, whereas the N-terminal acidic domain did not show any affinity for nucleic acid. These biochemical properties of pr17 together with its structural features suggest a regulatory role for this protein during virus replication.


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