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PLoS One. 2011 Apr 1;6(4):e17796. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0017796.

Yeast two hybrid analyses reveal novel binary interactions between human cytomegalovirus-encoded virion proteins.

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Division of Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, California, United States of America.


Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is the largest human herpesvirus and its virion contains many viral encoded proteins found in the capsid, tegument, and envelope. In this study, we carried out a yeast two-hybrid (YTH) analysis to study potential binary interactions among 56 HCMV-encoded virion proteins. We have tested more than 3,500 pairwise combinations for binary interactions in the YTH analysis, and identified 79 potential interactions that involve 37 proteins. Forty five of the 79 interactions were also identified in human cells expressing the viral proteins by co-immunoprecipitation (co-IP) experiments. To our knowledge, 58 of the 79 interactions revealed by YTH analysis, including those 24 that were also identified in co-IP experiments, have not been reported before. Novel potential interactions were found between viral capsid proteins and tegument proteins, between tegument proteins, between tegument proteins and envelope proteins, and between envelope proteins. Furthermore, both the YTH and co-IP experiments have identified 9, 7, and 5 interactions that were involved with UL25, UL24, and UL89, respectively, suggesting that these "hub" proteins may function as the organizing centers for connecting multiple virion proteins in the mature virion and for recruiting other virion proteins during virion maturation and assembly. Our study provides a framework to study potential interactions between HCMV proteins and investigate the roles of protein-protein interactions in HCMV virion formation or maturation process.

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