Recent work with picornaviruses has shown a shift of radioactive label from larger molecular weight virus-coded polypeptides to smaller ones in the interval following a short labelling period (Summers & Maizel, 1968; Holland & Kiehn, 1968). This suggests posttranslational cleavage of the larger polypeptides to give specific products. In view of the possibility that most mammalian messenger RNAs may be monocistronic (see Jacobson & Baltimore, 1968) it was of interest to examine mRNA translation in another small ribovirus of an unrelated group, the arboviruses.

All virus growth and protein synthesis experiments were done in BHK21 cells, adapted to suspension culture and grown in modified Eagle's medium in Bellco spinner flasks (Capstick 1966). The cells were kindly provided by Dr I. M. Kerr. The Semliki Forest virus stock and its titration in primary chick embryo cell cultures were described by Tan, Sambrook & Bellett (1969).


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