To investigate the specificity of comoviral 24 kDa (‘24K’) proteinases, a full-length cDNA copy of red clover mottle virus (RCMV) RNA 1 has been cloned downstream of a T7 promoter. Translation in rabbit reticulocyte lysates of transcripts from this clone resulted in the synthesis of a 200K protein which was processed in a manner similar to that of the equivalent protein from cowpea mosaic virus (CPMV). Full-length cDNA clones of the RNA 1 molecules of RCMV and CPMV were used to create hybrid RNA 1 molecules. RNA transcribed from these hybrids was translated and the ability of the 24K proteinase from one comovirus to cleave the 32K/170K processing site from the other assessed. The results of the experiments show that the 24K proteinases are virus-specific in .


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