PMID: 41504Jan 1, 1979

Activation of rotavirus RNA polymerase by calcium chelation

Archives of Virology
J CohenR Scherrer


Two types of particles were isolated during purification of rotavirus. Dense (D) particles have a density of 1.38 in CsCl and exhibit spontaneously a fully active endogenous transcriptase. Light (L) particles (density of 1.36 in CsCl) need to be treated with chelating agents to show a polymerase activity. The activation process of L particles was studied under strictly controlled monovalent, divalent, and hydrogen ion concentrations. These experiments demonstrate that i) activation is not affected by the ionic strength ii) activation occurs only at a pH higher than 7.1 iii) a low concentration of chelating agent (40 muM EDTA) is sufficient to activate the enzyme. Treatment of particles with EGTA, which chelates selectively Ca2+, leads to unmasking even in the presence of magnesium, indicating that the concentration of free calcium ions plays a major role in the activation process. Various glycosidases, detergents, and chelating agents were tested in respect to unmasking properties. Of these compound only chelating agents turned out to be efficient. Following activation, two glycopeptides were solubilized. These glycopeptides have an apparent molecular weight of 34,000 and 31,000 daltons and react with concanavalin A. The role o...Continue Reading


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