Many enveloped viruses have a matrix (M) protein that mediates envelopment of the nucleoprotein core (nucleocapsid) during virus assembly and budding. The M protein is putatively involved in packaging the nucleocapsid and induction of budding. The goal of this proposal is to understand how the M protein of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), an enveloped rhabdovirus, accomplishes these tasks. This goal will be addressed in two broad specific aims: 1. Determine the mechanism that commits intracellular M protein and nucleocapsid to virion assembly. 2. Define the role of M protein in the incorporation of viral envelope glycoprotein into virions. Specifically, M protein from virions and from infected cells will be compared for their binding affinity with nucleocapsids. These binding assays will involve minimal perturbation of nucleocapsid-M complexes assembled in vivo. Ability of M to bind with nucleocapsids will be determined in vitro. Affinity of the M protein to negative-sense versus positive-sense nucleocapsids will be determined. The M and the G protein-induced budding of membrane vesicles will be compared with virion budding, particularly in relation to the incorporation of cellular proteins. These studies are expected to provide a clearer picture of the mechanisms that underlie two critical functions of the M protein in virus assembly, e.g., packaging of the nucleocapsid and assembly of the virus envelope.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Research Project (R01)
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Virology Study Section (VR)
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Meegan, James M
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Wake Forest University Health Sciences
Schools of Medicine
United States
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