G1 and G2 are two forms of the membrane-integrated G protein of vesicular stomatitis virus that migrate differently in gel electrophoresis because G1 is modified by high-mannose and G2 by complex-type oligosaccharide side chains. The cytoplasmic domain in G1 is less exposed to cleavage by several proteases than in G2 molecules. Acylation by palmitic acid as well as inhibition of carbohydrate processing by swainsonine and deoxynojirimycin resulted in the same pattern of proteolytic sensitivity of both glycoproteins as in untreated cells. In contrast, accessibility of the cytoplasmic domain to proteases did not change when the intracellular transport of the G protein was blocked in carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone- or monensin-treated BHK-21 cells, respectively. The results suggest that the increase in accessibility of the cytoplasmic tail of the G protein occurs after the monensin block in the trans-Golgi and might reflect a conformational change of functional significance--i.e., making the cytoplasmic domain of the viral spike protein competent for its interaction with the viral core, inducing thereby the formation of the budding virus particle.

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