CHERYL ANN EDBAUER, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


The purpose of this research was to elucidate the mechanism of assembly of retroviruses, specifically of murine leukemia virus, as studied through the treatment of virus-infected cells with interferon and through the use of temperature sensitive (ts) mutants. Our studies have shown a rapid and specific association of Rauscher murine leukemia virus (R-MuLV) precursor polyprotein Pr65('gag) with cytoskeletal elements in infected mouse fibroblasts. The Pr65('gag) associated with Nonidet P-40 (NP40)-insoluble cytoskeletal structures appeared to be subphosphorylated in comparison to NP40-soluble Pr65('gag). The association of Pr65('gag) with skeletal elements could be disrupted by extraction of the cytoskeleton with sodium deoxycholate, an ionic detergent. Both the skeleton-associated Pr65('gag) and its NP40-soluble counterpart were labeled with {('3)H}-palmitate, indicating their probable association with lipids presumably in the plasma membrane. Pr65('gag) molecules bound to skeletal elements in the infected cell appeared to be more stable to proteolytic processing than NP40-soluble Pr65('gag). Our studies with certain ts mutants of murine leukemia virus, defective in virus assembly, including Mo-MuLV ts3 and R-MuLV ts17, ts24, ts25 and ts26, have shown that virions released at 39(DEGREES)C (nonpermissive temperature) had high levels of uncleaved Pr65('gag) relative to that seen in virions released at 33(DEGREES)C (permissive temperature). Examination of cell extracts revealed that Pr54('gag) was more stable to processing at 39(DEGREES)C than at 33(DEGREES)C, whereas the 'env' and glycosylated 'gag' proteins were processed to the same extent at both temperatures. Detergent extraction of pulse-labeled cells to generate an NP40-insoluble cytoskeleton-enriched fraction showed that in ts3-, ts17- and ts24-infected cells, Pr65('gag) accumulated in the cytoskeleton-enriched fraction. In contrast, cells infected with ts25 or ts26 showed no preferential localization of Pr65('gag) in the cytoskeleton in a short pulse, but instead, Pr65('gag) accumulated in both the NP40-soluble and -insoluble fractions during a chase-incubation. The association of Pr65('gag) with cytoskeletal elements in the cell was neither increased nor decreased by blocking virus assembly and release with interferon. Based on these and other results, we have proposed a model for the active role of cytoskeleton-associated Pr65('gag) in retrovirus assembly.

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Recommended Citation

EDBAUER, CHERYL ANN, "STUDIES ON THE MECHANISM OF ASSEMBLY OF MURINE LEUKEMIA VIRUS" (1983). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI8405459.