An investigation of virus-specific protein maturation in infectious pancreatic necrosis virus (IPNV) infected Chinook salmon embryo cells (CHSE-214) was undertaken. The precursor protein (pVP2-1) of the major mature capsid protein (VP2) was processed sequentially from pVP2-1 to pVP2-2 and VP2. Experiments using serine proteinase inhibitors showed that the maturation of the VP2 was blocked in the pVP2-1 post-translational cleavage steps. A protinin, a potent proteinase inhibitor, at 800 μg ml-1 blocked pVP2-2 to VP2 and the cleavage of VP4 (28 kDa) to VP4-1 (25 kDa). Therefore, our data showed that the maturation of the capsid protein (VP2) and cleavage of VP4 (NS proteinase) can be blocked by serine proteinase inhibitors.
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