A polyomavirus middle T-antigen (MTAg) mutant containing a substitution of Leu for Pro at amino acid 248 has previously been described as completely transformation defective (B. J. Druker, L. Ling, B. Cohen, T. M. Roberts, and B. S. Schaffhausen, J. Virol. 64:4454-4461, 1990). This mutant had no alterations in associated proteins or associated kinase activities compared with wild-type MTAg. Pro-248 lies in a tetrameric sequence, NPTY, which is reminiscent of the so-called NPXY sequence in the low-density-lipoprotein receptor. In the low-density-lipoprotein receptor, mutations in the NPXY motif but not in the surrounding amino acids abolish receptor function, apparently by decreasing receptor internalization (W. Chen, J. L. Goldstein, and M. S. Brown, J. Biol. Chem. 265:3116-3123, 1990). To determine whether this sequence represents a functional motif in MTAg as well, a series of single amino acid substitutions was constructed in this region of MTAg. All of the mutations of N, P, T, or Y, including the relatively conservative substitution of Ser for Thr at amino acid 249, resulted in a transformation- defective MTAg, whereas mutations outside of this sequence allowed mutants to retain near-wild-type transformation capabilities. Transformation-defective mutants with mutations in the NPTY region behaved similarly to the mutant with the original Pro-248-to-Leu-248 mutation when assayed for associated proteins and activities in vitro; that is, they retained a full complement of wild-type activities and associated proteins. Further, insertion of the tetrameric sequence NPTY downstream of the mutated motif restored transforming abilities to these mutants. Thus, the tetrameric sequence NPTY in MTAg appears to represent a well-defined functional motif of MTAg.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science