Evidence that the Middle T Antigen of Polyomavirus Interacts with the Membrane Skeleton

David W. Andrews, Jyothi Gupta, Gil Abisdris

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22 Scopus citations


The transforming protein of polyomavirus, middle T antigen, is associated with cellular membranes. We have examined the subcellular location of the middle T antigen in two different cell types by fractionation and detergent phase partitioning. Middle T antigen expressed in human cells by a recombinant adenovirus was detected primarily in the membrane skeleton. Sucrose gradient fractionation revealed that the middle T antigen was associated with complexes with molecular weights of 500,000 to 1,000,000. Several markers for cytoskeleton cofractionate with these complexes, including actin, tubulin, and vimentin. Electron micrographs of membrane skeleton prepared from cells expressing middle T antigen demonstrated that this material contained primarily fibrous structures and was clearly devoid of bilayer membranes. These structures were distinct from the filamentous structures observed in fractions enriched for cytoskeleton. Consistent with a role for membrane skeleton localization in transformation, middle T antigen was detected exclusively in fractions enriched for membrane skeleton in middle T antigen-transformed Rat-2 cells. Our results may resolve the apparent difference between middle T antigen localization as determined by immunomicroscopy and that determined by subcellular fractionation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4703-4713
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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