The phosphoprotein P of paramyxoviruses is known to play more than one role in genome transcription and replication. Phosphorylation of P at the NH 2 terminus by cellular casein kinase II has been shown to be necessary for transcription of the genome in some of the viruses, while it is dispensable for replication. The phosphorylation null mutant of rinderpest virus P protein, in which three serine residues have been mutated, has been shown earlier to be non-functional in an in vivo minigenome replication/transcription system. In this work, we have shown that the phosphorylation of P protein is essential for transcription, whereas the null mutant is active in replication of the genome in vivo. The null mutant P acts as a transdominant repressor of transcriptional activity of wild-type P and as an activator of replication carried out by wild-type P protein. These results suggest the phosphorylation status of P may act as a replication switch during virus replication. We also show that the phosphorylation null mutant P is capable of interacting with L and N proteins and is able to form a tripartite complex of L-(N-P) when expressed in insect cells, similar to wild-type P protein.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 1, 2008
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