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Virology. 1994 Oct;204(1):200-9.

SV40 large T antigen functions at two distinct steps in virion assembly.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260.


The SV40 large T antigen mutant 5002 has two amino acid substitutions (L19-F; P28-S) and is defective for productive viral infection as demonstrated by its small plaques that arise very late and by a 100-fold reduced yield of infectious progeny. 5002 replicates viral DNA at the same time postinfection as wild-type SV40, and the production of progeny DNA molecules is only marginally reduced. Furthermore, the viral capsid proteins accumulate to near normal levels following infection with 5002. In this manuscript we report evidence that 5002 infection is blocked at a specific stage of viral assembly. The SV40 viral assembly pathway involves conversion of 75S chromatin complexes to 240S virions. Unlike mutants within the T antigen host range (HR) domain, that are also defective for viral assembly and accumulate 75S particles (Spence and Pipas, 1994), 5002 particles are blocked as 150S previrions containing viral DNA and capsid proteins. We have previously shown that 5002 and HR mutants cooperate to produce viable progeny in trans complementation tests. Thus, by two criteria, SV40 large T antigen encodes two distinct activities that function at different steps in virion assembly.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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