To pursue an earlier observation that the protein encoded by the UL34 gene binds to intermediate chain of dynein, we constructed a series of mutants from which sequences encoding the entire protein (ΔUL34) or amino-terminal [UL34Δ(3–119)] or carboxyl-terminal [UL34Δ(245–275)] domains were deleted. The mutant lacking the sequence encoding the carboxyl-terminal domain grew in all cell lines tested. The two other mutants replicated only in cell type-dependent manner and poorly. Rescue of ΔUL34 mutant with a fragment that does not encompass the UL31 ORF restored wild-type phenotype. UL34 protein interacts physically with UL31, and the UL31 deletion mutant appears to have a phenotype similar to that of UL34 deletion mutant. Experiments designed to determine whether the phenotypes of the deletion mutants have a common base revealed that cells infected with the ΔUL34 mutant accumulate UL31 RNA but not the corresponding protein. The UL31 protein accumulated, however, to near wild-type virus-infected cell levels in cells infected with ΔUL34 mutant and treated with the MG132 proteosomal inhibitor at 6 h after infection. This is evidence that the stability of an essential viral protein requires the presence of another protein. The observation raises the bar for identification of gene function on the basis of analyses of the phenotype of mutants in which the gene has been deleted or rendered inoperative
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.