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Virology. 1999 Sep 30;262(2):265-76.

The murine cytomegalovirus M25 open reading frame encodes a component of the tegument.

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Department of Medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Connecticut, 06030-3212, USA.


The murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) monoclonal antibody 5C7:6 was used in Western analysis to probe MCMV infected murine embryo cells (MEC). This antibody recognizes three virus specific polypeptides of 130, 105, and 95 kDa and pulse-chase experiments demonstrated that these three proteins, although antigenically related, are distinct. The 105- and 95-kDa species were expressed with early kinetics, whereas the 130-kDa protein was synthesized as a true late. By screening a lambdagt11 MCMV cDNA library, the gene encoding these proteins was identified as the M25 open reading frame previously reported by Dallas et al. (Dallas, P. B., Lyons, P. A., Hudson, J. B., Scalzo, A. A., and Shellam, G. R., 1994, Virology 200, 643-650). Immunofluorescent studies monitored the location of pM25, present in the nucleus at 15 h after infection, condensing around the periphery of the nucleus at 18 h, before finally accumulating in the cytoplasm. Immunoelectron microscopy detected gold particles associated with the viral tegument of enveloped virions located in the cytoplasm and extracellular space but not with naked nucleocapsids. Western analysis of MCMV purified virions depicted the presence of the 130-kDa protein, the predominant M25 species, in mature virus particles. Together these findings provide compelling evidence that the 130-kDa M25 polypeptide is a component of the viral tegument.

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