The Bunyamwera bunyavirus (BUN) M RNA genome segment encodes three proteins, two glycoproteins termed G1 and G2 and a non-structural protein called NSm, in the form of a polyprotein precursor that is cotranslationally cleaved to give the mature proteins. Indirect immunofluorescence experiments have shown that these proteins localize to the Golgi complex in BUN-infected cells. We have used a recombinant vaccinia virus (vTF7-3), which expresses bacteriophage T7 RNA polymerase, to drive the expression of plasmids containing either the entire BUN M segment cDNA or fragments that encode the G1, G2 and NSm proteins separately under control of the T7 promoter. After transfection of these plasmids into vTF7-3-infected cells, correctly sized and processed proteins were detected by immunoprecipitation with BUN-specific antibodies. Immunofluorescence experiments showed that G1, G2 and NSm localized to the Golgi when transiently expressed from the full-length cDNA. When G2 or NSm were expressed separately they also localized to the Golgi, but when G1 was expressed alone a staining pattern typical for the endoplasmic reticulum was obtained. However coexpression of G2 and G1 from independent plasmids resulted in G1 localizing to the Golgi. In contrast translocation of G1 to the Golgi was not observed when G1 was coexpressed with NSm, although NSm itself was still detected in the Golgi. Similar results were obtained when the proteins were expressed from transfected plasmids containing the G2-, NSm- or G1-coding sequences under control of the cytomegalovirus immediate-early promoter. The localization of G1 to the Golgi when coexpressed with G2 was confirmed by the loss of endoglycosidase H (endo H) sensitivity of G1 after approximately 60 min in a pulse-chase experiment; G1 remained sensitive to endo H when expressed either alone or in combination with NSm. These results suggest that G2 contains the Golgi targeting and/or retention signals and that G1 has to interact with this protein to localize to this cellular compartment.


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