Phosphorylation of the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus nucleocapsid protein

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Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is a cytoplasmic RNA virus with the unique or unusual feature of having a nucleocapsid (N) protein that is specifically transported to the nucleolus of virus-infected cells. In this communication, we show that the N protein is a phosphoprotein. Phosphoamino acid analysis of authentic and recombinant N proteins demonstrated that serine residues were exclusively phosphorylated. The pattern of phosphorylated N protein cellular distribution in comparison with that of [35S]methionine-labeled N protein suggested that phosphorylation does not influence subcellular localization of the protein. Time course studies showed that phosphorylation occurred during, or shortly after, synthesis of the N protein and that the protein remained stably phosphorylated throughout the life cycle of the virus to the extent that phosphorylated N protein was found in the mature virion. Two-dimensional electrophoresis and acid-urea gel electrophoresis showed that one species of the N protein is predominant in virus-infected cells, suggesting that multiple phosphorylated isoforms of N do not exist.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10569-10576
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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