The simian virus 40 agnoprotein is a 61-amino-acid, highly basic polypeptide that is coded within the 5' leader of late 16S mRNAs. To better understand agnoprotein function and to more effectively differentiate cis-from trans-acting effects of an agnogene mutation, we constructed a mutant virus that carries a single-base-pair substitution and fails to produce agnoprotein. pm1493 contains a T/A to A/T transversion at sequence position 335. This mutation converts the agnoprotein initiation codon from ATG to TTG, preventing synthesis of the protein. The mutant displays only a modest growth defect in CV-1P and AGMK cells and no defect in BSC-1 cells. Early-gene expression, DNA replication, synthesis of late viral products, and the kinetics of virion assembly all appear normal in pm1493-infected CV-1P cells. Immunofluorescent studies, however, indicate that localization of the major capsid polypeptide VP1 is different in mutant- than wild-type virus-infected cells. Furthermore, the lack of agnoprotein led to inefficient release of mature virus from the infected cell. Agnogene mutants could be severely compromised in their ability to propagate in monkeys given their reduced capacity for cell-to-cell spread.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science