The hamster polyomavirus major capsid protein VP1 was modified in its carboxy-terminal region by consecutive truncations and single amino acid exchanges. The ability of yeast-expressed VP1 variants to form virus-like particles (VLPs) strongly depended on the size and position of the truncation. VP1 variants lacking 21, 69, and 79 amino acid (aa) residues in their carboxy-terminal region efficiently formed VLPs similar to those formed by the unmodified VP1 (diameter 40–45 nm). In contrast, VP1 derivatives with carboxy-terminal truncations of 35 to 56 aa residues failed to form VLPs. VP1 mutants with a single A336G aa exchange or internal deletions of aa 335 to aa 346 and aa 335 to aa 363 resulted in the formation of VLPs of a smaller size (diameter 20 nm). These data indicate that certain parts of the carboxy-terminal region of VP1 are not essential for pentamer–pentamer interactions in the capsid, at least in the yeast expression system used.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 1, 2006
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