The tomato bushy stunt virus replicase proteins are coordinately expressed and membrane associated. Academic Article uri icon


  • Two open reading frames at the 5'-end of the tomato bushy stunt virus genomic RNA are predicted to encode a 33-kDa (p33) protein and its 92-kDa (p92) readthrough product. From amino acid sequence comparisons with other small single-stranded RNA viruses, these proteins resemble viral components of the replicase-transcriptase complex. To investigate the accumulation of these proteins in the infected cell, two chimeric proteins were produced that expressed either a portion of p33 or the carboxy-terminal "half" of p92 fused with glutathione S-transferase, and polyclonal ascites fluids specific to p33 or p92 were elicited in mice. As expected, the anti-p33 antibody recognized p33 and the p92 readthrough protein, but the anti-p92 antibody was specific for p92. Immunoblot analyses revealed that at an early stage of infection both proteins were associated with the membrane fractions isolated from virus-infected plants, but later in the infection, prior to collapse of the tissues, these proteins were also associated with the cytoplasmic fraction. At all time points in plants and protoplasts p33 was about 20-fold more abundant than p92. A series of mutations derived from an infectious cDNA clone demonstrated that both the p33 and the p92 proteins were required for replication in protoplasts and the ratio of the two proteins was maintained in the replication-competent mutants. The wild-type amber (UAG) and in vitro-generated ochre (UAA) readthrough codon derivatives replicated in protoplasts. However, the tyrosine mutants (UAC or UAU) that were predicted to express only p92 were not viable in protoplasts.

published proceedings

  • Virology

author list (cited authors)

  • Scholthof, K. B., Scholthof, H. B., & Jackson, A. O.

complete list of authors

  • Scholthof, KB||Scholthof, HB||Jackson, AO

publication date

  • January 1, 1995 11:11 AM