The cytomegalovirus (CMV) basic phosphoprotein (BPP) is a component of the tegument. It remains with the nucleocapsid fraction under conditions that remove most other tegument proteins from the virion, suggesting a direct and perhaps tight interaction with the capsid. AS a step toward localizing this protein within the molecular structure of the virion and understanding its function during infection, we have investigated the BPP-capsid interaction. In this report we present evidence that the BPP interacts selectively, through its amino one-third, with CMV capsids. Radiolabeled simian CMV (SCMV) BPP, synthesized in vitro, bound to SCMV B-capsids, and C-capsids to a lesser extent, following incubation with either isolated capsids or lysates of infected cells. Human CMV (HCMV) BPP (pUL32) also bound to SCMV capsids, and SCMV BPP likewise bound to HCMV capsids, indicating that the sequence(s) involved is conserved between the two proteins. Analysis of SCMV BPP truncation mutants localized the capsid-binding region to the amino one-third of the molecule - the portion of BPP showing the greatest sequence conservation between the SCMV and HCMV homologs. This general approach may have utility in studying the interactions of other proteins with conformation-dependent binding sites.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science