1887

Abstract

The structure of complexes formed by tobacco mosaic virus (TMV)-coded movement protein (MP) with TMV RNA and short (890 nt) synthetic RNA transcripts was visualized by atomic force microscopy on a mica surface. MP molecules were found to be distributed along the chain of RNA and the structure of MP–RNA complexes depended on the molar MP:RNA ratios at which the complexes were formed. A rise in the molar MP:TMV RNA ratio from 20:1 to 60–100:1 resulted in an increase in the density of the MP packaging on TMV RNA and structural conversion of complexes from RNase-sensitive ‘beads-on-a-string’ into a ‘thick string’ form that was partly resistant to RNase. The ‘thick string’-type RNase-resistant complexes were also produced by short synthetic RNA transcripts at different MP:RNA ratios. The ‘thick string’ complexes are suggested to represent clusters of MP molecules cooperatively bound to discrete regions of TMV RNA and separated by protein-free RNA segments.

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2001-06-01
2019-10-14
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