Bluetongue virus (BTV) VP6 is often resolved into two closely migrating bands by SDS-PAGE (VP6 and VP6a). RNA segment 9 of BTV-serotype 1 South Africa (encoding VP6) has been cloned as cDNA, and the complete sequence has been determined. Expression of this clone both and in tissue culture produced the same polypeptide doublet as seen previously in extracts from BTV-infected cells. Modification of the cDNA, including the removal of the first initiation codon, demonstrated that the two forms of VP6 are derived from initiation of protein synthesis at two distinct sites and not by post-translational modification.


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