Characterization of the Vaccinia Virus A35R Protein and Its Role in Virulence

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Rachel L. Roper (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
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Abstract: The vaccinia virus A35R gene is highly conserved among poxviruses and encodes a previously uncharacterized hydrophobic acidic protein. Western blotting with anti-A35R peptide antibodies indicated that the protein is expressed early in infection and resolved as a single sharp band of 23 kDa, slightly higher than the 20 kDa predicted from its sequence. The protein band appeared to be the same molecular weight on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, whether expressed in an in vitro transcription/translation system without microsomes or expressed in infected cells, suggesting that it was not glycosylated. A mutant virus with the A35R gene deleted (vA35 ) formed wild-type-sized plaques on all cell lines tested (human, monkey, mouse, and rabbit); thus, A35R is not required for replication and does not appear to be a host range gene. Although the A35R protein is hydrophobic, it is unlikely to be an integral membrane protein, as it partitioned to the aqueous phase during TX-114 partitioning. The protein could not be detected in virus-infected cell supernatants. A35R localized intracellularly to the virus factories, where the first stages of morphogenesis occur. The vA35 mutant formed near-normal levels of the various morphogenic stages of infectious virus particles and supported normal acid-induced fusion of virus-infected cells. Despite normal growth and morphogenesis in vitro, the vA35 mutant virus was attenuated in intranasal challenge of mice compared to wild-type and A35R rescue virus. Thus, the intracellular A35R protein plays a role in virulence. The A35R has little homology to any protein outside of poxviruses, suggesting a novel virulence mechanism. Originally published Journal of Virology, Vol. 80, No. 1, Jan 2006

Additional Information

Journal of Virology. 80:1(January, 2006) p. 306-313.
Language: English
Date: 2006

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