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Virology. 1988 Dec;167(2):578-84.

Purification and characterization of vaccinia virus structural protein VP8.

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Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, State University of New York, Stony Brook 11794.


A major vaccinia virus core protein, designated VP8, has been purified from virions to homogeneity through DEAE-cellulose, CM-cellulose, and hydroxyapatite chromatography. VP8 migrates as a 25-kDa band in SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and sediments as a monomeric species in neutral sucrose gradient centrifugation. This protein is a significant constitutent of the virion, comprising about 6.5% of the total viral polypeptides by mass. Analysis by filter binding and by sucrose gradient centrifugation shows that VP8 binds to double-stranded as well as to single-stranded DNA at low salt concentrations (25 mM NaCl). At higher salt concentrations (100 mM NaCl), the protein binds with a relatively greater affinity to single-stranded DNA. The results from sucrose gradient centrifugation indicate that VP8 probably binds noncooperatively to all structural forms of DNA. The protein is likely to be a component of the viral nucleoprotein complex.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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