The M RNA genome segment of Bunyamwera virus (BUNV), the prototype of the Bunyaviridae family, encodes a precursor polyprotein that is proteolytically cleaved to yield two structural proteins, Gn and Ge, and a nonstructural protein called NSm. Gn and Gc are type I integral transmembrane glycoproteins. The Gn protein contains a predicted cytoplasmic tail (CT) of 78 residues, and Gc has a shorter CT of 25 residues. Little is known about the role of the Gn and Gc CT domains in the virus replication cycle. We generated a series of mutant glycoprotein precursor constructs containing either deletions or alanine substitutions in the CT domains of Gn and Gc. We examined the effects of these mutations on glycoprotein maturation, cell surface expression, and low pH-induced syncytium formation. In addition, the effects of these mutations were also assessed using a reverse genetics-based virus assembly assay and a virus rescue system. Our results show that the CT domains of both Gn and Gc play crucial roles in BUNV-mediated membrane fusion, virus assembly, and morphogenesis.
- MINIREPLICON SYSTEM