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Virology. 1996 Jun 15;220(2):516-21.

Molecular interactions between the HSV-1 capsid proteins as measured by the yeast two-hybrid system.

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Department of Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261, USA.


HSV-1 B capsids are composed of seven major proteins, designated VP5, VP19C, 21, 22a, VP23, VP24, and VP26. VP indicates that the capsid protein is also a component of the infectious virion. Capsid proteins 21, 22a, and VP24 are specified by a single open reading frame (UL26) that encodes 635 amino acids. An objective of the work in our laboratory is to identify and map interactions among and between capsid proteins. In the present studies we employed the yeast GAL4 two-hybrid system developed by Fields and his colleagues (Nature 240, 245-246 (1989)) for this purpose. DNA corresponding to the capsid open reading frames was derived as a PCR product and fused to sequences of the GAL4 activation and DNA binding domains. Using this system each of the capsid proteins has been tested for interactions with all of the other capsid proteins. Three interactions have been identified: a relatively strong self-interaction between 22a molecules (residues 307-635 of UL26), bimolecular interactions between 22a and VP5, and another between VP19C and VP23. The interactions were detected by the expression of beta-galactosidase enzyme activity, and yielded 289, 86, and 63 units of enzyme activity, respectively. For the 22a self-interaction, elimination of residues 611-635 resulted in an approximately twofold decrease in enzyme activity. The C-terminal 25 amino acids of 22a were also essential for the bimolecular interaction between 22a and VP5.

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