Mutational Analysis of the Ligand-Binding Domain of M-T2 Protein, the Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Homologue of Myxoma Virus

Martha Schreiber, Grant McFadden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations


The myxoma virus-encoded M-T2 protein shares extensive sequence homology with the ligand-binding domains of the TNF receptors (TNFRs) and has been shown to bind and inhibit rabbit TNF-α with affinities similar to those of TNF-α with cellular receptors. Here we show that M-T2 protein is secreted from infected cells as an N-linked glycoprotein, with both complex and hybrid or high mannose oligosaccharide chains. Since amino acid homology between M-T2 and cellular TNF receptors is limited to the four N-terminal cysteine-rich domains (CRDs), various M-T2 C-terminal truncations were created in recombinant vaccinia virus vectors. C-terminal deletions that include truncations up to the middle of the fourth CRD effectively bound and inhibited rabbit TNF-α. In contrast, removal of any one of the first three CRDs resulted in a mutant M-T2 protein incapable of binding or inhibiting rabbit TNF-α. The C-terminal portion of M-T2, which is not homologous to the cellular TNFRs, appears to be important for efficient secretion of M-T2 from infected cells, since all the C-terminal truncations, including a truncation removing only the last 24 amino acids, were effectively retained as intracellular proteins that were still capable of binding and inhibiting rabbit TNF-α. We conclude that the first three CRDs of M-T2 fulfill the same ligand-binding function as the cellular TNFRs, and the nonhomologous C-terminal region participates in protein trafficking of M-T2 in virus-infected cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4486-4495
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 15 1996
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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