Coronavirus IBV: partial amino terminal sequencing of spike polypeptide S2 identifies the sequence Arg-Arg-Phe-Arg-Arg at the cleavage site of the spike precursor propolypeptide of IBV strains Beaudette and M41

Virus Res. 1986 Feb;4(2):133-43. doi: 10.1016/0168-1702(86)90037-7.


The spike protein of avian infectious bronchitis coronavirus comprises two glycopolypeptides S1 and S2 derived by cleavage of a proglycopolypeptide So, the nucleotide sequence of which has recently been determined for the Beaudette strain (Binns, M.M. et al., 1985, J. Gen. Virol. 66, 719-726). The order of the two glycopolypeptides within So is aminoterminus(N)-S1-S2-carboxyterminus(C). To locate the N-terminus of S2 we have performed partial amino acid sequencing on S2 from IBV-Beaudette labelled with [3H]serine and from the related strain labelled with [3H]valine, leucine and isoleucine. The residues identified and their positions relative to the N-terminus of S2 were: serine, 13; valine, 6, 12; leucine, none in the first 20 residues; isoleucine, 2, 19. These results identified the N-terminus of S2 of IBV-Beaudette as serine, 520 residues from the N-terminus of S1, excluding the signal sequence. Immediately to the N-terminal side of residue 520 So has the sequence Arg-Arg-Phe-Arg-Arg; similar basic connecting peptides are a feature of several other virus spike glycoproteins. It was deduced that for IBV-Beaudette S1 comprises 519 residues (Mr 57.0K) or 514 residues (56.2K) if the connecting peptide was to be removed by carboxypeptidase-like activity in vivo while S2 has 625 residues (69.2K). Nucleotide sequencing of the cleavage region of the So gene of IBV-M41 revealed the same connecting peptide as IBV-Beaudette and that the first 20 N-terminal residues of S2 of IBV-M41 were identical to those of the Beaudette strain. IBV-Beaudette grown in Vero cells had some uncleaved So; this was cleavable by 10 micrograms/ml of trypsin and of chymotrypsin. Partial N-terminal analysis of S1 from IBV-M41 identified leucine and valine residues at positions 2 and 9 respectively from the N-terminus. This confirms the identification, made by Binns et al. (1985), of the N-terminus of S1 and the end of the signal sequence of the IBV-Beaudette spike propolypeptide. N-terminal sequencing of [3H]leucine-labelled IBV-Beaudette membrane (M) polypeptide showed leucine residues at positions 8, 16 and 22 from the N-terminus; these results confirm the open reading frame identified by M.E.G. Boursnell et al. (1984, Virus Res. 1, 303-313) in the nucleotide sequence of M. The N-terminus of the nucleocapsid (N) polypeptide appeared to be blocked.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Line
  • Chick Embryo
  • Chickens
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Coronaviridae / analysis*
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Infectious bronchitis virus / analysis*
  • Infectious bronchitis virus / genetics
  • Isoleucine / analysis
  • Leucine / analysis
  • Protein Precursors*
  • Serine / analysis
  • Valine / analysis
  • Viral Envelope Proteins* / analysis
  • Viral Proteins* / analysis


  • Protein Precursors
  • Viral Envelope Proteins
  • Viral Proteins
  • Isoleucine
  • Serine
  • Leucine
  • Valine