Conserved cysteines in Mason–Pfizer monkey virus capsid protein are essential for infectious mature particle formation

Publication date: August 2018
Source:Virology, Volume 521
Author(s): Růžena Píchalová, Tibor Füzik, Barbora Vokatá, Michaela Rumlová, Manuel Llano, Alžběta Dostálková, Ivana Křížová, Tomáš Ruml, Pavel Ulbrich
Retrovirus assembly is driven mostly by Gag polyprotein oligomerization, which is mediated by inter and intra protein–protein interactions among its capsid (CA) domains. Mason-Pfizer monkey virus (M-PMV) CA contains three cysteines (C82, C193 and C213), where the latter two are highly conserved among most retroviruses. To determine the importance of these cysteines, we introduced mutations of these residues in both bacterial and proviral vectors and studied their impact on the M-PMV life cycle. These studies revealed that the presence of both conserved cysteines of M-PMV CA is necessary for both proper assembly and virus infectivity. Our findings suggest a crucial role of these cysteines in the formation of infectious mature particles.