The poxviral RING protein p28 is a virulence factor whose molecular function is unknown. Many cellular RING-containing proteins act as ubiquitin ligases (RING-E3s) connecting selected substrate proteins to the ubiquitination machinery. Here we demonstrate that vaccinia virus p28 and its homologue in myxoma virus, M143R, can mediate the formation of polyubiquitin conjugates, while RING mutants of both p28 and M143R cannot. Furthermore, p28 is ubiquitinated in vivo and ubiquitin colocalizes with p28 to virus factories independently of an intact RING domain. These results implicate the ubiquitin system in poxviral virulence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science