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Two mutants were constructed to explore the functions of the sequences at the end of the S terminus of pseudorabies virus (PrV). In mutant vYa, 17 bp from the internal inverted repeat, as well as adjacent sequences from the L component, were deleted. In mutant v135/9, 143 bp from the internal inverted repeat (including sequences with homology to the pac-1 site of herpes simplex virus), as well as adjacent sequences from the L component, were deleted. Our aim in constructing these mutants was to ascertain whether equalization of the terminal regions of the S component would occur, whether genome termini that lack either the terminal 17 or 143 bp would be generated as a result of equalization of the repeats (thereby identifying the terminal nucleotides that may include cleavage signals), and whether inversion of the S component would occur (thereby ascertaining the importance of the deleted sequences in this process). The results obtained show the following (i) The removal of the terminal 17 or 143 bp of the internal S component, including the sequences with homology to the pac-1 site, does not affect the inversion of the Us. (ii) The equalization of both the vYa and the v135/9 inverted repeats occurs at high frequency, the terminal repeats being converted and becoming similar to the mutated internal inverted repeat. (iii) Mutants in which the 17 terminal base pairs (vYa) have been replaced by unrelated sequences are viable. However, the 143 terminal base pairs appear to be essential to virus survival; concatemeric v135/9 DNA with equalized, mutant-type, inverted repeats accumulates, but mature virions with such equalized repeats are not generated at high frequency. Since concatemeric DNA missing the 143 bp at both ends of the S component is not cleaved, the terminal 143 bp that include the sequences with homology to the pac-1 site are necessary for efficient cleavage. (iv) v135/9 intracellular DNA is composed mainly of arrays in which one S component (with two equalized inverted repeats both having the deletion) is bracketed by two L components in opposite orientations and in which two L components are in head-to-head alignment.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
As a result of examining regional-specific gene expression in the mouse epididymis, a novel cystatin-related epididymal specific (CRES) gene was identified. Substantial homology between the CRES gene and members of the cystatin family of cysteine proteinase inhibitors was observed at the amino acid level. This homology included the presence of four highly conserved cysteine residues in exact alignment with the cystatins as well as other regions of sequence characteristic of the cystatins. However, unlike the cystatins, the CRES gene does not contain specific highly conserved sequence motifs thought to be necessary for cysteine proteinase inhibitory activity. Also, in contrast to the ubiquitous expression of the cystatin C gene, Northern blot analysis and in situ hybridization demonstrated that the CRES gene is very restricted in its expression. The 0.75-kilobase CRES transcript is dramatically restricted to the very proximal caput region of the epididymis with 15- to 20-fold less expression in the testis and no expression detected in any of the other 24 tissues examined. In addition, the CRES transcript disappears 2-3 weeks after castration, suggesting a dependence on androgens. However, its expression remained undetectable even after the administration of testosterone or dihydrotestosterone. Unilateral castration also resulted in the disappearance of the CRES mRNA from the castrate epididymis, but not from the intact epididymis, suggesting that testicular factors or hormones other than androgens may be involved in the regulation of CRES gene expression. Therefore, the unique sequence of the CRES gene as well as its highly restricted expression and unusual regulation by the testis suggests that it has a very specialized role in the epididymis.