Tobacco streak virus (TSV), a member of the genus Ilarvirus (family Bromoviridae ), has a tripartite genome and forms quasi-isometric virions. All three viral capsids, encapsidating RNA 1, RNA 2 or RNA 3 and subgenomic RNA 4, are constituted of a single species of coat protein (CP). Formation of virus-like particles (VLPs) could be observed when the TSV CP gene was cloned and the recombinant CP (rCP) was expressed in E. coli . TSV VLPs were found to be stabilized by Zn 2+ ions and could be disassembled in the presence of 500 mM CaCl 2. Mutational analysis corroborated previous studies that showed that an N-terminal arginine-rich motif was crucial for RNA binding; however, the results presented here demonstrate that the presence of RNA is not a prerequisite for assembly of TSV VLPs. Instead, the N-terminal region containing the zinc finger domain preceding the arginine-rich motif is essential for assembly of these VLPs.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 1, 2014
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