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J Virol. 2006 Sep;80(17):8763-77.

Interaction between vaccinia virus extracellular virus envelope A33 and B5 glycoproteins.

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Departamento de Biotecnología, INIA, Ctra. La Coruña km 7.5, Madrid, Spain.


The extracellular form of vaccinia virus acquires its outer envelope by wrapping with cytoplasmic membranes that contain at least seven virus-encoded proteins, of which four are glycoproteins. We searched for interactions between the vaccinia virus A33 glycoprotein and proteins A34, A36, B5, F12, and F13. First, when myc epitope-tagged A33 was expressed in combination with other envelope proteins, A33 colocalized with B5 and A36, suggesting that direct A33-B5 and A33-A36 interactions occur in the absence of infection. A recombinant vaccinia virus (vA33Rmyc) was constructed by introduction of the myc-tagged A33 version (A33myc) into A33-deficient vaccinia virus. A33myc partially restored plaque formation and colocalized with enveloped virions in infected cells. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments with extracts of vA33Rmyc-infected cells confirmed the existence of a physical association of A33 with A36 and B5. Of these, the A33-B5 interaction is a novel finding, whereas the interaction between A33 and A36 has been previously characterized. A collection of vaccinia viruses expressing mutated versions of the B5 protein was used to investigate the domain(s) of B5 required for interaction with A33. Both the cytoplasmic domain and most of the extracellular domain, but not the transmembrane domain, of the B5 protein were dispensable for binding to A33. Mutations in the extracellular portions of B5 and A33 that enhance extracellular virus release did not affect the interaction between the two. In contrast, substituting the B5 transmembrane domain with that of the vesicular stomatitis virus G glycoprotein prevented the association with A33. Immunofluorescence experiments on virus mutants indicated that B5 is required for efficient targeting of A33 into enveloped virions. These results point to the transmembrane domain of B5 as the major determinant of the A33-B5 interaction and demonstrate that protein-protein interactions are crucial in determining the composition of the virus envelope.

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