The two large Rep proteins, Rep78 and Rep68, from the adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV-2) are required for AAV-2 DNA replication, site-specific integration, and for the regulation of viral gene expression. The study of their activities is dependent on the ability to deliver these proteins to the cells in a time and dose-dependent manner. We evaluated the ability of a protein transduction domain (PTD) derived from the human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) TAT protein to drive the cellular internalization of exogenously delivered PTD-fused Rep68 proteins. This analysis unexpectedly revealed that recombinant Rep68 alone, in the absence of any PTD, could be endocytosed by the cells. Rep68 as the chimeric TAT-Rep68 proteins were internalized through endocytosis in clathrin-coated vesicles and retained in late endosomes/lysosomes with no detectable nuclear localization. In the presence of adenovirus, the Rep proteins could translocate into the nucleus where they displayed a biological activity. These findings support recent reports on the mechanism of entry of TAT-fused proteins and also revealed a new property of Rep68. © 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Awedikian, R., François, A., Guilbaud, M., Moullier, P., & Salvetti, A. (2005). Intracellular route and biological activity of exogenously delivered Rep proteins from the adeno-associated virus type 2. Virology, 335(2), 252–263. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2005.02.024