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J Biol Chem. 1998 Apr 10;273(15):9306-11.

The Gag domain of the Gag-Pol fusion protein directs incorporation into the L-A double-stranded RNA viral particles in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Laboratory of Biochemistry and Genetics, NIDDK, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-0830, USA.


The L-A double-stranded RNA virus of yeast encodes its major coat protein, Gag, and a Gag-Pol fusion protein made by a -1 ribosomal frameshift, a coding strategy used by many retroviruses. We find that cells expressing only Gag from one plasmid and only Gag-Pol (in frame) from a separate plasmid can support the propagation of M1 double-stranded RNA, encoding the killer toxin. We use this system to separately investigate the functions of Gag and the Gag part of Gag-Pol. L-A contains two fusion protein molecules per particle, and although N-terminal acetylation of Gag is essential for viral assembly, it is completely dispensable for function of Gag-Pol. In general, the requirements on Gag for viral assembly and propagation are more stringent than on the Gag part of Gag-Pol. Finally, we directly show that it is Gag that instructs the incorporation of Gag-Pol into the viral particles.

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