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J Virol. 2004 Apr;78(7):3372-7.

Dimerization of recombinant tobacco mosaic virus movement protein.

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Department of Cell Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


The p30 movement protein (MP) is essential for cell-to-cell spread of tobacco mosaic virus in planta. We used anion-exchange chromatography and preparative sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) to obtain highly purified 30-kDa MP, which migrated as a single band in native PAGE. Analytical ultracentrifugation suggested that the protein was monodisperse and dimeric in the nonionic detergent n-octyl-beta-D-glucopyranoside. Circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy showed that the detergent-solubilized protein contained significant alpha-helical secondary structure. Proteolysis of the C-tail generated a trypsin-resistant core that was a mixture of primarily monomers and some dimers. We propose that MP dimers are stabilized by electrostatic interactions in the C terminus as well as hydrophobic interactions between putative transmembrane alpha-helical coiled coils.

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