Topography of a flexible ribonucleoprotein helix: protein-protein contacts in Sendai virus nucleocapsids.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Contacts among the three polypeptide species in the flexible helical nucleocapsids of a paramyxovirus were examined with bifunctional protein cross-linking reagents. Polypeptides L and P, minor components of Sendai virus nucleocapsids implicated in viral RNA polymerase activity, were efficiently cross-linked into large complexes, indicating that they enjoy abundant contacts with neighboring protein molecules in the helix. Less reactivity was found in the case of the major structural polypeptide, NP; about half of all molecules of NP formed large cross-linked complexes, most of the rest remaining as monomers along with a small proportion of homodimers and low-order oligomers. Marked heterogeneity in the cross-linking reactivity of NP molecules, which may reflect the conformational quasi-equivalence inherent in a flexible helix, was indicated by the production of several conformers of homodimers and other low-order oligomers of NP, and by failure of the kinetics of NP cross-linking to conform to a simple statistical model of random polmerization. The validity of the statistical model was shown by cross-linking experiments with the rigid helical virus, tobacco mosaic virus.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Raghow, R; Kingsbury, DW; Portner, A; George, S

Published Date

  • June 1, 1979

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 30 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 701 - 710

PubMed ID

  • 225539

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC353378

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-538X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1128/JVI.30.3.701-710.1979


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States