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A 100-kilodalton polypeptide encoded by open reading frame (ORF) 1b of the coronavirus infectious bronchitis virus is processed by ORF 1a products



A 100-kilodalton polypeptide encoded by open reading frame (ORF) 1b of the coronavirus infectious bronchitis virus is processed by ORF 1a products



Journal of Virology 68(9): 5772-5780



The genome-length mRNA (mRNA 1) of the coronavirus infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) contains two large open reading frames (ORFs), 1a and 1b, with the potential to encode polypeptides of 441 and 300 kDa, respectively. The downstream ORF, ORF 1b, is expressed by a ribosomal frameshifting mechanism. In an effort to detect viral polypeptides encoded by ORF 1b in virus-infected cells, immunoprecipitations were carried out with a panel of region-specific antisera. A polypeptide of approximately 100 kDa was precipitated from IBV-infected, but not mock-infected, Vero cells by one of these antisera (V58). Antiserum V58 was raised against a bacterially expressed fusion protein containing polypeptide sequences encoded by ORF 1b nucleotides 14492 to 15520; it recognizes specifically the corresponding in vitro-synthesized target protein. A polypeptide comigrating with the 100,000-molecular-weight protein (100K protein) identified in infected cells was also detected when the IBV sequence from nucleotides 8693 to 16980 was expressed in Vero cells by using a vaccinia virus-T7 expression system. Deletion analysis revealed that the sequence encoding the C terminus of the 100K polypeptide lies close to nucleotide 15120; it may therefore be generated by proteolysis at a potential QS cleavage site encoded by nucleotides 15129 to 15135. In contrast, expression of IBV sequences from nucleotides 10752 to 16980 generated two polypeptides of approximately 62 and 235 kDa, which represent the ORF 1a stop product and the 1a-1b fused product generated by a frameshifting mechanism, respectively, but no processed products were observed. Since the putative picornavirus 3C-like proteinase domain is located in ORF 1a between nucleotides 8937 and 9357, this observation suggests that deletion of the picornavirus 3C-like proteinase domain and surrounding regions abolishes processing of the 1b polyprotein. In addition, the in vitro translation and in vivo transfection studies also indicate that the ORF 1a region between nucleotides 8763 and 10720 contains elements that down-regulate the expression of ORF 1b.

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Accession: 002281364

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PMID: 8057459


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