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J Virol. 2007 Jul;81(14):7435-48. Epub 2007 May 2.

Bovine papillomavirus type 1 infection is mediated by SNARE syntaxin 18.

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School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, North Chicago, IL 60064, USA.


Events that lead to viral infections include the binding of the virus to the target cells, internalization of the virus into the cells, and the ability of the viral genome to be expressed. These steps are mediated by cellular and viral proteins and are temporally regulated. The papillomavirus capsid consists of two virally encoded capsid proteins, L1 and L2. Much is known about the role of the major capsid protein L1 compared to what is known of the role of the L2 protein. We identified the interaction of the L2 protein with SNARE protein syntaxin 18, which mediates the trafficking of vesicles and their cargo between the endoplasmic reticulum, the cis-Golgi compartment, and possibly the plasma membrane. Mutations of L2 residues 41 to 44 prevented the interaction of L2 protein with syntaxin 18 in cotransfection experiments and resulted in noninfectious pseudovirions. In this paper, we describe that syntaxin 18 colocalizes with infectious bovine papillomavirus type 1 (BPV1) pseudovirions during infection but does not colocalize with the noninfectious BPV1 pseudovirions made with an L2 mutant at residues 41 to 44. We show that an antibody against BPV1 L2 residues 36 to 49 (alpha L2 36-49) binds to in vitro-generated BPV1 pseudoviral capsids and does not coimmunoprecipitate syntaxin 18- and BPV1 L2-transfected proteins. alpha L2 36-49 was able to partially or completely neutralize infection of BPV1 pseudovirions and genuine virions. These results support the dependence of syntaxin 18 during BPV1 infection and the ability to interfere with infection by targeting the L2-syntaxin 18 interaction and further define the infectious route of BPV1 mediated by the L2 protein.

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