The 28,000 mol. wt. polypeptide (p28) of adult T-cell leukaemia-associated antigen encoded by the 24S defective human T-cell leukaemia virus (HTLV-I) is associated with protein kinase activity. We have determined the nucleotide sequence of this defective HTLV-I provirus and found that it contains a portion of the gag gene (p19 and part of p24), the pX region, and two long terminal repeats, one at each end. The predicted p28 gag-pX fused protein consists of 190 amino acids and its mol. wt. was calculated as 21,055. The results of peptide mapping analysis showing that p28 contains p19 supported the nucleotide sequence data. That p28 was encoded by this defective provirus was also demonstrated by transient expression of p28 polypeptide in COS 7 cells transfected with a recombinant plasmid containing a simian virus 40 early promoter and the p28-coding region of the 24S HTLV-I.
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