The large non-structural polyprotein (206 kDa) of turnip yellow mosaic tymovirus (TYMV) undergoes auto-cleavage, producing N- and C-terminal proteins. Here we show that the viral proteinase responsible for this event is active when produced in , as monitored in Western blots by examining the generation of the C-terminal cleavage product after induction by IPTG. The outer boundaries and critical amino acids of the proteinase domain were characterized by deletion analysis and site-directed mutagenesis. A miniproteinase of 273 residues resulting from combined N- and C- terminal deletions still performed efficient cleavage. Sequence analysis of the bacterially-purified C-terminal cleavage product indicated that cleavage occurs between Ala and Thr of the non-structural protein.


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