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J Virol. 1998 Jan;72(1):758-66.

An arenavirus RING (zinc-binding) protein binds the oncoprotein promyelocyte leukemia protein (PML) and relocates PML nuclear bodies to the cytoplasm.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.


The promyelocytic leukemia protein (PML) forms nuclear bodies which are altered in some disease conditions. We report that the cytoplasmic RNA virus lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) influences the distribution of PML bodies. In cells infected with LCMV, the Z protein and PML form large bodies primarily in the cytoplasm. Transient transfection studies indicate that Z alone is sufficient to redistribute PML to the cytoplasm and that PML and Z colocalize. Coimmunoprecipitation studies show specific interaction between PML and Z proteins. A similar result was observed with a Z protein from another arenavirus, Lassa virus, suggesting that this is a general feature of the Arenaviridae. Genetically engineered mutations in PML were used to show that the Z protein binds the N-terminal region of PML and does not need the PML RING or the nuclear localization signal to colocalize. The Z protein acts dominantly to overcome the diffuse phenotype observed in several PML mutants. The interaction between PML and Z may influence certain unique characteristics of arenavirus infection.

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