1887

Abstract

Various functions of the cell-to-cell movement protein (MP) of (GRV) were analysed. The GRV ORF4-encoded protein was shown by immunofluorescence microscopy to generate tubular structures that protrude from the surface of the protoplast. The protein encoded by ORF4 was assessed also for RNA-binding properties. This protein was tagged at its C terminus with six histidine residues, produced in using an expression vector and purified by affinity chromatography. Gel retardation analysis demonstrated that, in contrast to many other viral MPs, including the 3a MP of (CMV), the ORF4-encoded protein bound non-cooperatively to viral ssRNA and formed complexes of low protein:RNA ratios. Competition binding experiments showed that the ORF4-encoded protein bound to both ssRNA and ssDNA without sequence specificity, but did not bind to dsDNA. UV cross-linking and nitrocellulose membrane-retention assays confirmed that both the GRV and the CMV MPs formed complexes with ssRNA and that these complexes showed similar stability in NaCl. Probing the MP–RNA complexes by atomic force microscopy demonstrated that the ORF4-encoded protein bound RNA incompletely, leaving protein-free RNA segments of varying length, while the CMV 3a protein formed highly packed complexes. The significance of the two properties of limited RNA binding and tubule formation of the umbraviral MP is discussed.

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2001-10-01
2019-12-16
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