The transmembrane and anchor region of pseudorabies virus gIII is postulated to be in the 35 hydrophobic amino acids (residues 436 to 470) found near the carboxy terminus of the 479-amino-acid envelope protein. In this study, we used a genetic approach to localize the functional gIII membrane anchor between amino acids 443 and 466. Mutant gIII proteins lacking the membrane anchor were not associated with virus particles, indicating that membrane retention is a prerequisite for virion localization. Unexpectedly, the specific hydrophobic gIII sequence defined by these deletions was not required for membrane anchor function since the entire region could be replaced with leucine residues without affecting gIII membrane retention, export, or virion localization. The hydrophobic region appears to encode more than the membrane anchor domain since both efficiency of posttranslational processing and localization to virions are affected by mutations in this region. We speculate that the composition of the hydrophobic domain influences the overall conformation of gIII, which in turn effects the efficiency of gIII export and processing. The virion localization phenotype is probably indirect and reflects the efficiency of protein processing. This conclusion provides insight into the mechanism of glycoprotein incorporation into virions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science