Nucleotide sequences coding for proteins containing the tobacco etch virus (TEV) NIa proteinase were generated by polymerase chain reaction amplification and/or site-directed mutagenesis. These coding regions contained sequences for the proteinase alone or as part of higher precursors. Following transcription and translation of these sequences in a cell-free system, the various polyproteins, all containing an active small nuclear inclusion protein (NIa) proteinase, were used to process a TEV substrate series. Most substrates were processed in a similar fashion by all proteolytic forms. However, one substrate which contained the TEV 50K/71K protein junction was differently processed by several of the polyproteins containing NIa proteinase. Substrates which previously had no identified TEV NIa proteinase cleavage sites also were tested and were not cleaved by any of the proteinase-containing polyprotein forms.


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