Microsequencing of a cyanogen bromide peptide obtained from a basic phosphoprotein co-sedimenting with purified ribosomes extracted from herpes simplex virus type 1-infected human epidermoid carcinoma 2 cells identified this protein as a product of the true late US11 gene. An antibody was raised against a recombinant fusion protein expressed in from a plasmid carrying 75% of the US11 coding sequence including the carboxy terminus. This antibody was used to prode Western blots carried out under various conditions of one- and two-dimensional electrophoresis. The electrophoretic behaviour of the immunoreactive proteins offered further proof that they were indeed products of the US11 gene. This US11 protein, which has phosphates on multiple serine residues, is brought into the cell by the virion and found to be present within ribosome fractions early after infection. This association with ribosomes is non-specific and due to probable aggregation or oligomerization of this proline-rich basic protein allowing its co-sedimentation with ribosomes during the different subcellular fractionation steps used for the purification of ribosomal subunits.


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