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J Virol. 2002 Jan;76(1):346-54.

A nucleocapsid functionality contained within the amino terminus of the Ty1 protease that is distinct and separable from proteolytic activity.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.


Ty1 is the most successful of the five endogenous yeast retrotransposons. The life cycle of Ty1 dictates that a number of nucleocapsid (NC)-facilitated events occur although the protein(s) responsible for these events has not been identified. The positioning of the NC peptide is conserved at the carboxy terminus of the Gag protein among most long terminal repeat (LTR)-containing retroelements. An analogous region of Ty1 that simultaneously encodes part of Gag, protease (PR), and the C-terminal p4 peptide was mutagenized. Some of these mutations result in smaller-than-normal virus-like particles (VLPs). The mutants were also found to impair an NC-like functionality contained within the amino terminus of the protease that is distinct and separable from its proteolytic activity. Remarkably, these mutants have distinct defects in reverse transcription.

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