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Sequence and expression analysis of potential nonstructural proteins of 4.9, 4.8, 12.7, and 9.5 kDa encoded between the spike and membrane protein genes of the bovine coronavirus



Sequence and expression analysis of potential nonstructural proteins of 4.9, 4.8, 12.7, and 9.5 kDa encoded between the spike and membrane protein genes of the bovine coronavirus



Virology 177(2): 488-495



The nucleotide sequence between the spike and membrane protein genes in the bovine coronavirus (BCV) genome was determined by sequencing cDNA clones of the genome, and open reading frames potentially encoding proteins of 4.9, 4.8, 12.7, and 9.5 kDa, in that order, were identified. The 4.9- and 4.8-kDa proteins appear to be vestiges of an 11-kDa protein for which a single nucleotide deletion event in the central part of the gene gave rise to a stop codon. The consensus CYAAAC sequence precedes the 4.9-, 12.7-, and 9.5-kDa ORFs and predicts that transcription will start from each of these sites. Northern analyses using sequence-specific probes and oligo(dT)-selected RNA demonstrated that the predicted transcripts are made, and that these correspond to mRNAs 4, 5, and 5-1. BCV mRNA 4 appears to be a counterpart to mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) mRNA 4 which, in the MHV JHM strain, encodes the putative 15.2-kDa nonstructural protein. BCV mRNAs 5 and 5-1 appear to be used for the synthesis of the 12.7- and 9.5-kDa proteins, respectively, which demonstrates a pattern of expression strikingly different from that utilized by MHV. MHV makes its homologs of the 12.7- and 9.5-kDa proteins from the single mRNA 5. In vitro translation analyses demonstrated that the BCV 9.5-kDa protein, unlike its MHV counterpart, is poorly made from downstream initiation of translation. Thus, from a comparison between BCV and MHV we find evolutionary evidence for the importance of the CYAAAC sequence in regulating coronavirus transcription.

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Accession: 017015461

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PMID: 2142556


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