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Virology. 2012 Dec 5;434(1):118-28. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2012.09.011. Epub 2012 Oct 10.

Guanylylation-competent replication proteins of Tomato mosaic virus are disulfide-linked.

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Division of Plant Sciences, National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8602, Japan.


The 130-kDa and 180-kDa replication proteins of Tomato mosaic virus (ToMV) covalently bind guanylate and transfer it to the 5' end of RNA to form a cap. We found that guanylylation-competent ToMV replication proteins are in membrane-bound, disulfide-linked complexes. Guanylylation-competent replication proteins of Brome mosaic virus and Cucumber mosaic virus behaved similarly. To investigate the roles of disulfide bonding in the functioning of ToMV replication proteins, each of the 19 cysteine residues in the 130-kDa protein was replaced by a serine residue. Interestingly, three mutant proteins (C179S, C186S and C581S) failed not only to be guanylylated, but also to bind to the replication template and membranes. These mutants could trans-complement viral RNA replication. Considering that ToMV replication proteins recognize the replication templates, bind membranes, and are guanylylated in the cytoplasm that provides a reducing condition, we discuss the roles of cysteine residues and disulfide bonds in ToMV RNA replication.

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