An antiserum directed against a bacterial fusion protein containing UL28 protein sequences specifically recognized an 86,000 apparent Mr protein in immunoblots of wild-type capsids. This protein was not detected in immunoblots of capsids purified from cells infected with a UL28 deletion virus, indicating that the protein was a product of UL28. The 86,000 Mr protein was also detected in capsids purified from cells infected with mutant viruses lacking the UL6, UL15, and UL25 genes, indicating that the UL28 protein can associate with capsids independently of successful DNA packaging and other minor capsid components. The UL6 protein, full-length UL15 protein, and UL25-encoded proteins were also detected in capsids purified from cells infected with the UL28 deletion virus. The UL28 and UL6 proteins remained associated with capsids treated with 1.0 M guanidine-HCl, indicating that, like the UL6 protein, the UL28 protein was an integral component of capsids. Amounts of UL28 protein were reduced in DNA-containing capsids and UL28 protein was not detected in virions, suggesting that some UL28 protein is lost during the cleavage-packaging reaction.
Copyright 1998 Academic Press.