1887

Abstract

White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) is a member of a new virus family () infecting crustaceans. The regulation of transcription of WSSV genes is largely unknown. Transcription of the major WSSV structural virion protein genes, , , , and , was studied to search for common promoter motifs for coordinate expression. The temporal expression of these genes and both 5′ and 3′ ends of the mRNA were determined, using infected crayfish gill tissue as a RNA source. RT-PCR showed that all five genes are expressed late in infection compared to the early ribonucleotide reductase large subunit gene. 5′ RACE studies revealed a consensus late transcription initiation motif for only two of the five major virion protein genes. This motif was only found in one other upstream region of the putative translational start site of a gene with unknown function (ORF 158). No other conserved sequence motifs could be detected in the sequences surrounding the transcriptional start sites of the five major virion protein genes. All 5′ ends were located about 25 nt downstream of an A/T rich sequence, including the consensus TATA-box sequence for . The absence of a consensus motif is distinct from gene regulation of other large dsDNA viruses and suggests a unique regulation of WSSV transcription, in line with its unique taxonomic position.

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2003-06-01
2019-10-23
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