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Unique and Conserved Features of Genome and Proteome of SARS-coronavirus, an Early Split-off From the Coronavirus Group 2 Lineage



Unique and Conserved Features of Genome and Proteome of SARS-coronavirus, an Early Split-off From the Coronavirus Group 2 Lineage



Journal of Molecular Biology 331(5): 1-1004



The genome organization and expression strategy of the newly identified severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) were predicted using recently published genome sequences. Fourteen putative open reading frames were identified, 12 of which were predicted to be expressed from a nested set of eight subgenomic mRNAs. The synthesis of these mRNAs in SARS-CoV-infected cells was confirmed experimentally. The 4382- and 7073 amino acid residue SARS-CoV replicase poly-proteins are predicted to be cleaved into 16 subunits by two viral proteinases (bringing the total number of SARS-CoV proteins to 28). A phylogenetic analysis of the replicase gene, using a distantly related toro-virus as an outgroup, demonstrated that, despite a number of unique features, SARS-CoV is most closely related to group 2 coronaviruses. Distant homologs of cellular RNA processing enzymes were identified in group 2 coronaviruses, with four of them being conserved in SARS-CoV. These newly recognized viral enzymes place the mechanism of coronavirus RNA synthesis in a completely new perspective. Furthermore, together with previously described viral enzymes, they will be important targets for the design of antiviral strategies aimed at controlling the further spread of SARS-CoV. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

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Accession: 010024698

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 12927536

DOI: 10.1016/s0022-2836(03)00865-9


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