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Virology. 1994 Nov 15;205(1):336-44.

Substitution mutations affecting a small region of the Moloney murine leukemia virus MA gag protein block assembly and release of virion particles.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032.


A series of substitution mutations affecting the Moloney murine leukemia virus MA protein were introduced into a cloned proviral DNA, and the mutant DNAs were tested for their biological activity in NIH/3T3 cells and COS cells. Many of the mutant viruses were viable and replicated with kinetics indistinguishable from the wild type. Seven mutants with alterations in a small region (residues 7-14 from the amino terminus) were replication-defective. These mutants were blocked in assembly and release of the virion particles in NIH/3T3 cells and were defective in both gag and gag-pol gene function. The results suggest that this very small region near the amino terminus of both proteins is required for their membrane targeting or self-association. Three of the defective mutant DNAs were able to induce virion particle formation when present at high copy number in COS cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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