Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Virology


Geisel School of Medicine


Simian virus 40 (SV40) deletion mutants dlA2459 and dlA2475 express T antigens that lack the normal carboxy terminus. These mutants are called host range/helper function (hr/hf) mutants because they form plaques at 37 degrees C on BSC-1 and Vero monkey kidney cell lines but not on CV-1p monkey kidney cells. Wild-type SV40 can provide a helper function to permit growth of human adenoviruses in monkey kidney cells; the hr/hf mutants cannot. Progeny yields of hr/hf mutants are also cold sensitive in all cell lines tested. Patterns of viral macromolecular synthesis in three cell lines (Vero, BSC-1, and CV-1) at three temperatures (40, 37, and 32 degrees C) were examined to determine the nature of the growth defect of hr/hf mutants. Mutant viral DNA replication was similar to that of the wild type in all three cell lines, indicating that the mutations affect late events in the viral lytic cycle. In mutant-infected Vero cells, in which viral yields were highest, late mRNA levels were similar to those observed during wild-type infection. Levels of viral late mRNA from mutant-infected CV-1 and BSC-1 cells at 32 and 37 degrees C were reduced relative to those of wild-type-infected cells. The steady-state level of the major viral capsid protein, VP1, in mutant-infected CV-1 cells was reduced to the same extent as was late mRNA. The synthesis of agnoprotein could not be detected in mutant-infected CV-1 cells but was readily detected in CV-1 cells infected by wild-type SV40. Primer extension analyses indicated that most late mRNAs from mutant-infected CV-1 cells utilize start sites downstream from the major wild-type cap site (nucleotide 325) and the agnoprotein initiation codon (nucleotide 335). These results indicate that deletion of the carboxyl-terminal domain of T antigen affects viral late mRNA production, both quantitatively and qualitatively. The agnoprotein is detected late in the wild-type SV40 lytic cycle and is thought to play a role in the assembly or maturation of virions. Reduced hr/hf progeny yields could result from decreased capsid protein synthesis and, in the absence of detectable levels of agnoprotein, from inefficient use of available capsid proteins.

Original Citation

Stacy T, Chamberlain M, Cole CN. Simian virus 40 host range/helper function mutations cause multiple defects in viral late gene expression. J Virol. 1989;63(12):5208-5215. doi:10.1128/JVI.63.12.5208-5215.1989