Protein kinase activities associated with a highly purified transcriptionally active ribonucleoprotein complex from the virions of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) were isolated and characterized. Based upon several biochemical and immunological criteria, the protein kinase activity, which phosphorylated the bacterially expressed unphosphorylated (P) protein, was shown to be cellular casein kinase II (CKII). These studies included inhibition of the protein kinase by specific inhibitors, phosphorylation of mutant phosphoproteins (P), immunoprecipitation by CKII antibody and Western blot analyses, and finally its ability to activate P to synthesize RNA in a transcription-reconstitution reaction. The P protein is phosphorylated intracellularly by cellular CKII. The present study demonstrates that VSV specifically packages CKII which remains strongly associated with the ribonucleoprotein complex during morphogenesis.


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