1887

Abstract

This paper presents evidence that Thosea asigna virus (TaV) has a unique capsid expression strategy and is a member of the Nudaurelia beta-like genus of the Tetraviridae. Electron microscopy of TaV particles indicated a 38 nm, T = 4 icosahedral capsid similar in structure to that of Nudaurelia beta virus (NbetaV). TaV particles have a buoyant density of 1.296 g/cm3 in CsCl and consist of two capsid proteins of 56 and 6 kDa. The virus genome contains a genomic RNA molecule of 6.5 kb and a subgenomic molecule of 2.5 kb. Northern blotting of TaV RNA indicated a genomic organization similar to that of NbetaV. The capsid gene of TaV is carried on both the genomic and subgenomic RNA molecules, while the RNA polymerase gene is present only on the genomic RNA. Cloning and sequencing of the TaV capsid gene identified an open reading frame that could potentially encode a capsid precursor protein of up to 82.5 kDa. The N-terminal sequences of the capsid proteins were compared with the nucleotide sequence of the capsid open reading frame. The sequences indicate that the pre-protein is cleaved at two positions to produce the 56 and 6 kDa capsid proteins as well as a predicted third protein that was not detected in the mature virion. Phylogenetic analysis of the capsid proteins indicated that TaV is more closely related to NbetaV than to the Nudaurelia omega-like viruses. The eight beta-sheets that make up a jelly roll structure in the TaV capsid protein were identified by computer analysis.

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1999-07-01
2022-09-29
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