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J Virol. 1985 Nov;56(2):341-8.

Conformational changes in Newcastle disease virus fusion glycoprotein during intracellular transport.


The migration on polyacrylamide gels of nascent (pulse-labeled) and more processed (pulse-labeled and then chased) forms of nonreduced Newcastle disease virus fusion glycoprotein were compared. Results are presented which demonstrate that pulse-labeled fusion protein, which has an apparent molecular weight of 66,000 under reducing conditions (Collins et al., J. Virol. 28: 324-336), migrated with an apparent molecular weight of 57,000 under nonreducing conditions. This form of the Newcastle disease virus fusion protein has not been previously detected. This result suggests that the nascent fusion protein has extensive intramolecular disulfide bonds which, if intact, significantly alter the migration of the protein on gels. Furthermore, upon a nonradioactive chase, the migration of the fusion protein in polyacrylamide gels changed from the 57,000-molecular-weight species to the previously characterized nonreduced form of the fusion protein (molecular weight, 64,000). Evidence is presented that this change in migration on polyacrylamide gels is due to a conformational change in the molecule which is likely due to the disruption of some intramolecular disulfide bonds: Cleveland peptide analysis of the pulse-labeled nonreduced fusion protein (molecular weight, 57,000) yielded a pattern of polypeptides quite different from that obtained from the more processed form of the fusion protein (molecular weight, 64,000). However, the pattern of polypeptides obtained from the nonreduced 64,000-molecular-weight species was quite similar to that obtained from the fully reduced nascent protein (molecular weight, 66,000). This conformational change occurred before cleavage of the molecule. To determine the cell compartment in which the conformational change occurs, use was made of inhibitors which block glycoprotein migration at specific points. Monensin allowed the appearance of the 64,000-molecular-weight form of the fusion protein, whereas carboxyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazine blocked the appearance of the 64,000-molecular-weight form of the fusion protein. Thus, the fusion protein undergoes a conformational change as it moves between the rough endoplasmic reticulum and the medial Golgi membranes.

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