Requirement for a non-specific glycoprotein cytoplasmic domain sequence to drive efficient budding of vesicular stomatitis virus
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The cytoplasmic domains of viral glycoproteins are often involved in specific interactions with internal viral components. These interactions can concentrate glycoproteins at virus budding sites and drive efficient virus budding, or can determine virion morphology. To investigate the role of the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) glycoprotein (G) cytoplasmic and transmembrane domains in budding, we recovered recombinant VSVs expressing chimeric G proteins with the transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains derived from the human CD4 protein. These unrelated foreign sequences were capable of supporting efficient VSV budding. Further analysis of G protein cytoplasmic domain deletion mutants showed that a cytoplasmic domain of only 1 amino acid did not drive efficient budding, whereas 9 amino acids did. Additional studies in agreement with the CD4-chimera experiments indicated the requirement for a short cytoplasmic domain on VSV G without the requirement for a specific sequence in that domain. We propose a model for VSV budding in which a relatively non-specific interaction of a cytoplasmic domain with a pocket or groove in the viral nucleocapsid or matrix proteins generates a glycoprotein array that promotes viral budding.
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