Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.286, No.2, 298-304, 2001
Phosphorylation of serine-rich protein encoded by open reading frame 3 of the TT virus genome
TT virus (TTV) is a newly discovered human virus with a single-stranded, circular DNA genome. The TTV DNA sequence includes two major open reading frames (ORFs), ORF1 and ORF2. Recently, spliced TTV mRNAs were detected and revealed two additional coding regions, ORF3 and ORF4. We found sequence similarity between the TTV ORF3 protein and hepatitis C virus (HCV) nonstructural 5A (NS5A) protein, which is a phosphoprotein and is thought to associate with various cellular proteins. To test whether the TTV ORF3 protein is phosphorylated, the state of phosphorylation was analyzed with a transient protein production system. The TTV ORF3 protein was phosphorylated at the serine residues in its C-terminal portion. Furthermore, the TTV ORF3 gene generated two forms of proteins with a different phosphorylation state, similar to the HCV NS5A region, suggesting that TTV ORF3 protein has function(s) similar to phosphorylated viral proteins such as the HCV NS5A protein.