Phosphorylation of DHBV pre-S: identification of the major site of phosphorylation and effects of mutations on the virus life cycle.
Four potential serine/threonine phosphorylation sites [(S/T)-P motif], designated P1-P4, on the pre-S protein of duck hepatitis B virus (DHBV) have been mutated. Mutants include single (P2, P3, P4) and double amino acid substitutions (P1 + P2, P3 + P4) and one with all four sites mutated (4P). Serine at position 118 (P3) was identified as the major site of phosphorylation by Western blotting and radioimmunoprecipitation after in vitro cell labeling with [35S]methionine or [33P]orthophosphate. Mutant virions generated by transfection of LMH cells were infectious both in vitro in duck hepatocyte primary cultures and in vivo in Pekin ducks. Intracellular relaxed circular (RC) and covalently closed circular (ccc) DNA syntheses were not affected by the P3 mutation or even the quadruple mutant. Extracellular virus production was slightly increased when the P3 site was mutated. CsCl gradient centrifugation showed no clear difference between mutant and wild-type virus with respect to the ratios of enveloped virus and nucleocapsid particles in hepatocyte culture supernatants. Trypsin or V8 protease digestion with or without NP-40 indicated that phosphorylation of the pre-S domain is not involved in determining the transmembrane topology of DHBV large protein. This phenotypic analysis indicates that DHBV pre-S phosphorylation has no apparent effect on DHBV replication and formation of mature viral particles in duck hepatocyte primary culture and does not affect infectivity in ducklings.
Borel, C; Sunyach, C; Hantz, O; Trepo, C; Kay, A
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