The maturation of pseudorabies virus DNA from the replicative concatemeric form to molecules of genome length was examined using nine DNA+ temperature-sensitive mutants of pseudorabies virus, each belonging to a different complementation group. At the nonpermissive temperature, cells infected with each of the mutants synthesized concatemeric DNA. Cleavage of the concatemeric DNA to genome-length viral DNA was defective in all the DNA+ ts mutants tested, indicating that several viral gene products are involved in the DNA maturation process. In none of the ts mutant-infected cells were capsids with electron-dense cores (containing DNA) formed. Empty capsids with electron-translucent cores were, however, formed in cells infected with six of the nine temperature-sensitive mutants; in cells infected with three of the mutants, no capsid assembly occurred. Because these three mutants are deficient both in maturation of DNA and in the assembly of viral capsids, we conclude that maturation of viral DNA is dependent upon the assembly of capsids. In cells infected with two of the mutants (tsN and tsIE13), normal maturation of viral DNA occurred after shiftdown of the cells to the permissive temperature in the presence of cycloheximide, indicating that the temperature-sensitive proteins involved in DNA maturation became functional after shiftdown. Furthermore, because cycloheximide reduces maturation of DNA in wild-type-infected cells but not in cells infected with these two mutants, we conclude that a protein(s) necessary for the maturation of concatemeric DNA, which is present in limiting amounts during the normal course of infection, accumulated in the mutant-infected cells at the nonpermissive temperature. Concomitant with cleavage of concatemeric DNA, full capsids with electron-dense cores appeared after shiftdown of tsN-infected cells to the permissive temperature, indicating that there may be a correlation between maturation of DNA and formation of full capsids. The number of empty and full capsids (containing electron-dense cores) present in tsN-infected cells incubated at the nonpermissive temperature, as well as after shiftdown to the permissive temperature in the presence of cycloheximide, was determined by electron microscopy and by sedimentation analysis in sucrose gradients. After shiftdown to the permissive temperature in the presence of cycloheximide, the number of empty capsids present in tsN-infected cells decreased with a concomitant accumulation of full capsids, indicating that empty capsids are precursors to full capsids.
Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research
Choose a citation style from the tabs below