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J Virol. Oct 1987; 61(10): 3199–3207.
PMCID: PMC255898

Proteolytic processing of foot-and-mouth disease virus polyproteins expressed in a cell-free system from clone-derived transcripts.

Abstract

All picornaviral genes are expressed as a single, large polyprotein, which is proteolytically processed into the system produces functional proteins, including viral protease 3C, which plays a major role in processing the precursor proteins. To study the function of the two putative proteases 3C and leader (L) in processing, we constructed several cDNA plasmids encoding various regions of the FMDV type A12 genome. These plasmids, containing FMDV cDNA segments under the control of the T7 promoter, were transcribed in vitro by using T7 RNA polymerase and then translated in rabbit reticulocyte lysates. The expressed FMDV gene products were identified by immunoprecipitation with specific antisera and analyzed by gel electrophoresis. The results demonstrate the following: (i) the leader protein, L, is processed from the structural protein precursor, P1, in the absence of any P2 or P3 region proteins; (ii) protein 2A remains associated with the structural protein precursor, P1, rather than the precursor, P2; (iii) the processing of the P1-2A/P2 junction is not catalyzed by 3C or L; (iv) the proteolytic processing of polyproteins from the structural P1 region (except VP4/VP2) and the nonstructural P2 and P3 region is catalyzed by 3C.

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