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Ericsson, M. and Cudmore, S. and Shuman, S. and Condit, R. C. and Griffiths, G. and Locker, J. K.;
Journal of virology
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We have characterized a temperature-sensitive mutant of vaccinia virus, ts16, originally isolated by Condit et al. (Virology 128:429-443, 1983), at the permissive and nonpermissive temperatures, In a previous study by Kane and Shuman (J. Virol 67:2689-2698, 1993), the mutation of ts16 was mapped to the 17 gene, encoding a 47-kDa protein that shows partial homology to the type II topoisomerase of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, The present study extends previous electron microscopy analysis, showing that in BSC40 cells infected with ts16 at the restrictive temperature (40 degrees C), the assembly was arrested at a stage between the spherical immature virus and the intracellular mature virus (IMV). In thawed cryosections, a number of the major proteins normally found in the IMV were subsequently localized to these mutant particles, By using sucrose density gradients, the ts16 particles were purified from cells infected at the permissive and nonpermissive temperatures, These were analyzed by immunogold labelling and negative-staining electron microscopy, and their protein composition was determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, While the ts16 virus particles made at the permissive temperature appeared to have a protein pattern identical to that of wild-type IMV, in the mutant particles the three core proteins, p4a, p4b, and 28K, were not proteolytically processed, Consistent with previous data the sucrose-purified particles could be labelled with [H-3]thymidine. In addition, anti-DNA labelling on thawed cryosections suggested that most of the mutant particles had taken up DNA, On thawed cryosections of cells infected at the permissive temperature, antibodies to 17 labelled the virus factories, the immature viruses, and the IMVs, while under restrictive conditions these structures were labelled much less, if at all. Surprisingly, however, by Western blotting (immunoblotting) the 17 protein was present in similar amounts in the defective particles and in the IMVs isolated at the permissive temperature, Finally, our data suggest that at the nonpermissive temperature the assembly of ts16 is irreversibly arrested in a stage at which the DNA is in the process of entering but before the particle has completely seated, as monitored by protease experiments.
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