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Characterization of an endoplasmic reticulum retention signal in the rubella virus E1 glycoprotein.

By T C Hobman, H F Lemon and K Jewell


Rubella virus contains three structural proteins, capsid, E2, and E1. E2 and E1 are type I membrane glycoproteins that form a heterodimer in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) before they are transported to and retained in the Golgi complex, where virus assembly occurs. The bulk of unassembled E2 and E1 subunits are not transported to the Golgi complex. We have recently shown that E2 contains a Golgi-targeting signal that mediates retention of the E2-E1 complex (T. C. Hobman, L. Woodward, and M. G. Farquhar, Mol. Biol. Cell 6:7-20, 1995). The focus of this study was to determine if E1 glycoprotein also contains intracellular targeting information. We constructed a series of chimeric reporter proteins by fusing domains from E1 to the ectodomains of two other type I membrane proteins which are normally transported to the cell surface, vesicular stomatitis virus G protein (G) and CD8. Fusion of the E1 transmembrane and cytoplasmic regions, but not analogous domains from two control membrane proteins, to the ectodomains of G and CD8 proteins caused the resulting chimeras to be retained in the ER. Association of the ER-retained chimeras with known ER chaperone proteins was not detected. ER localization required both the transmembrane and cytoplasmic regions of E1, since neither of these domains alone was sufficient to retain the reporter proteins. Increasing the length of the E1 cytoplasmic domain by 10 amino acids completely abrogated ER retention. This finding also indicated that the chimeras were not retained as a result of misfolding. In summary, we have identified a new type of ER retention signal that may function to prevent unassembled E1 subunits and/or immature E2-E1 dimers from reaching the Golgi complex, where they could interfere with viral assembly. Accordingly, assembly of E2 and E1 would mask the signal, thereby allowing transport of the heterodimer from the ER

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1997
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:192117
Provided by: PubMed Central
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