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Mutations in the Cytoplasmic Tail of Murine Leukemia Virus Envelope Protein Suppress Fusion Inhibition by R Peptide

By Min Li, Chinglai Yang and Richard W. Compans


During viral maturation, the cytoplasmic tail of the murine leukemia virus (MuLV) envelope (Env) protein undergoes proteolytic cleavage by the viral protease to release the 16-amino-acid R peptide, and this cleavage event activates the Env protein's fusion activity. We introduced Gly and/or Ser residues at different positions upstream of the R peptide in the cytoplasmic tail of the Friend MuLV Env protein and investigated their effects on fusion activity. Expression in HeLa T4 cells of a mutant Env protein with a single Gly insertion after I619, five amino acids upstream from the R peptide, induced syncytium formation with overlaid XC cells. Env proteins containing single or double Gly-Ser insertions after F614, 10 amino acids upstream from the R peptide, induced syncytium formation, and mutant proteins with multiple Gly insertions induced various levels of syncytium formation between HeLa T4 and XC cells. Immunoprecipitation and surface biotinylation assays showed that most of the mutants had surface expression levels comparable to those of the wild-type or R peptide-truncated Env proteins. Fluorescence dye redistribution assays also showed no hemifusion in the Env proteins which did not induce fusion. Our results indicate that insertion mutations in the cytoplasmic tail of the MuLV Env protein can suppress the inhibitory effect of the R peptide on membrane fusion and that there are differences in the effects of insertions in two regions in the cytoplasmic tail upstream of the R peptide

Topics: Virus-Cell Interactions
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
Year: 2001
DOI identifier: 10.1128/JVI.75.5.2337-2344.2001
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:114817
Provided by: PubMed Central
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