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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Aug 2, 1994; 91(16): 7653–7657.

Vaccinia protein kinase 2: a second essential serine/threonine protein kinase encoded by vaccinia virus.


The major protein kinase activity from vaccinia virus core particles was purified to near homogeneity. The protein kinase is a 50-kDa polypeptide that is shown here to phosphorylate primarily seryl residues in alpha-casein, a casein kinase I-specific peptide substrate, and itself through autophosphorylation. The sequence of four peptides derived from the protein kinase demonstrated that it is encoded by the vaccinia virus F10L gene. Expression of the F10L gene product in bacteria as a fusion with glutathione S-transferase confirmed that the vaccinia F10L gene encodes the protein kinase. We have termed this enzyme vaccinia protein kinase 2 (VPK2) to distinguish it from the protein kinase encoded by the vaccinia B1R gene. Targeted disruption of the VPK2 gene with a positive selectable marker demonstrated that all viruses with a disrupted gene also possessed a wild-type gene, suggesting that VPK2 is essential for viability. The discovery of a second essential protein kinase encoded by vaccinia virus, in addition to a protein phosphatase, underscores the importance of protein phosphorylation in poxvirus biogenesis.

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Selected References

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