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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Two-hybrid analysis of Ty3 capsid subdomain interactions

  • Author(s): Zhang, Min
  • Larsen, Liza S
  • Irwin, Becky
  • Bilanchone, Virginia
  • Sandmeyer, Suzanne
  • et al.

Background: The yeast retrotransposon Ty3 forms stable virus-like particles. Gag3, the major structural protein, is composed of capsid, spacer and nucleocapsid domains. The capsid domain of Gag3 was previously modeled as a structure similar to retrovirus capsid. Findings: Two-hybrid analysis was used to understand the interactions that contribute to particle assembly. Gag3 interacted with itself as predicted based on its role as the major structural protein. The N-terminal subdomain (NTD) of the capsid was able to interact with itself and with the C-terminal subdomain (CTD) of the capsid, but interacted less well with intact Gag3. Mutations previously shown to block particle assembly disrupted Gag3 interactions more than subdomain interactions. Conclusions: The findings that the NTD interacts with itself and with the CTD are consistent with previous modeling and a role similar to that of the capsid in retrovirus particle structure. These results are consistent with a model in which the Gag3-Gag3 interactions that initiate assembly differ from the subdomain interactions that potentially underlie particle stability.

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