The long terminal repeat (LTR) region of mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) is known to contain an open reading frame of sufficient length to code for a protein of 36,000 M(r). The coding capacity of the 3' sequences of MMTV genomic RNA has been demonstrated by in vitro translation studies, which have reported the synthesis of four related proteins: p36, p24, p21, and p18. These proteins are overlapping translation products of the same open reading frame, with the smaller ones initiating at internal methionine codons. From the predicted amino acid sequence of the LTR protein, we have selected a region likely to be antigenic, obtained a synthetic peptide of that region, and raised antiserum to the peptide. The antipeptide serum specifically immunoprecipitated all four proteins from in vitro translated 3' MMTV RNA, plus an additional one of 32,000 M(r). Published sequence data of MMRV LTRs show an internal AUG codon at a position which could initiate a protein of 32,000 M(r). The three smaller in vitro translation products (p24, p21, and p18) were consistently synthesized in much greater amounts than the p36 or p32 protein. The relative amount of each in vitro synthesized protein from genomic MMTV RNA could be predicted and was in good agreement with the postulated effect of flanking nucleotides on the efficiency of the respective AUG initiation codon. Polyadenylated RNAs, isolated from various mouse tissues, were selected by hybridization to plasmid DNA containing MMTV LTR sequences immobilized on nitrocellulose. In vitro translation of hybrid-selected mRNAs isolated from BALB/c mouse lactating mammary glands and carcinogen-induced mammary tumors, followed by immunoprecipitation with antipeptide serum, revealed that only one polypeptide was synthesized by the MMTV LTR-specific mRNA, the 36,000 M(r) species.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science