Molecular characterization of the 3' terminus of the simian hemorrhagic fever virus genome.
ABSTRACT: The 3' end of the simian hemorrhagic fever virus (SHFV) single-stranded RNA genome was cloned and sequenced. Adjacent to the 3' poly(A) tract, we identified a 76-nucleotide noncoding region preceded by two overlapping reading frames (ORFs). The ultimate 3' ORF of the viral genome encodes the capsid protein, and the penultimate ORF encodes the smallest SHFV envelope protein. These two ORFs overlap each other by 26 nucleotides. Northern (RNA) blot hybridization analyses of cytoplasmic RNA extracts from SHFV-infected MA-104 cells with gene-specific probes revealed the presence of full-length genomic RNA as well as six subgenomic SHFV-specific mRNA species. The subgenomic mRNAs are 3' coterminal. In its virion morphology and size, genome structure and length, and replication strategy, SHFV is most similar to lactate dehydrogenase-elevating virus, equine arteritis virus, and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus.
Project description:The simian hemorrhagic fever virus (SHFV) genome differs from those of other members of the family Arterivirus in encoding two adjacent sets of four minor structural protein open reading frames (ORFs). A stable, full-length, infectious SHFV-LVR cDNA clone was constructed. Virus produced from this clone had replication characteristics similar to those of the parental virus. A subgenomic mRNA was identified for the SHFV ORF previously identified as 2b. As an initial means of analyzing the functional relevance of each of the SHFV minor structural proteins, a set of mutant infectious clones was generated, each with the start codon of one minor structural protein ORF mutated. Different phenotypes were observed for each ortholog of the pairs of minor glycoproteins and all of the eight minor structural proteins were required for the production of infectious extracellular virus indicating that the duplicated sets of SHFV minor structural proteins are not functionally redundant.
Project description:SHFV is a member of a new virus family which includes the genus arterivirus. We have cloned and sequenced 6,314 nt from the 3' end of the SHFV genome. This sequence encompasses nine complete ORFs which is three additional ORFs as compared to the other arteriviruses. We have numbered these ORFs 2a, 2b, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. At the 5' end of this sequence is a partial ORF (ORF 1b) of 1590 nt and at the 3' end is a poly(A) tract preceded by a 76 nt noncoding region. The coding capacity for each of the SHFV ORFs as well as the potential mass, pI and number of N-linked glycosylation sites for each of the encoded peptides was determined.
Project description:Members of the order Nidovirales express their structural protein ORFs from a nested set of 3' subgenomic mRNAs (sg mRNAs), and for most of these ORFs, a single genomic transcription regulatory sequence (TRS) was identified. Nine TRSs were previously reported for the arterivirus Simian hemorrhagic fever virus (SHFV). In the present study, which was facilitated by next-generation sequencing, 96 SHFV body TRSs were identified that were functional in both infected MA104 cells and macaque macrophages. The abundance of sg mRNAs produced from individual TRSs was consistent over time in the two different cell types. Most of the TRSs are located in the genomic 3' region, but some are in the 5' ORF1a/1b region and provide alternative sources of nonstructural proteins. Multiple functional TRSs were identified for the majority of the SHFV 3' ORFs, and four previously identified TRSs were found not to be the predominant ones used. A third of the TRSs generated sg mRNAs with variant leader-body junction sequences. Sg mRNAs encoding E', GP2, or ORF5a as their 5' ORF as well as sg mRNAs encoding six previously unreported alternative frame ORFs or 14 previously unreported C-terminal ORFs of known proteins were also identified. Mutation of the start codon of two C-terminal ORFs in an infectious clone reduced virus yield. Mass spectrometry detected one previously unreported protein and suggested translation of some of the C-terminal ORFs. The results reveal the complexity of the transcriptional regulatory mechanism and expanded coding capacity for SHFV, which may also be characteristic of other nidoviruses.
Project description:The nucleotide sequence of the genome of equine arteritis virus (EAV) was determined from a set of overlapping cDNA clones and was found to contain eight open reading frames (ORFs). ORFs 2 through 7 are expressed from six 3'-coterminal subgenomic mRNAs, which are transcribed from the 3'-terminal quarter of the viral genome. A number of these ORFs are predicted to encode structural EAV proteins. The organization and expression of the 3' part of the EAV genome are remarkably similar to those of coronaviruses and toroviruses. The 5'-terminal three-quarters of the genome contain the putative EAV polymerase gene, which also shares a number of features with the corresponding gene of corona- and toroviruses. The gene contains two large ORFs, ORF1a and ORF1b, with an overlap region of 19 nucleotides. The presence of a "shifty" heptanucleotide sequence in this region and a downstream RNA pseudoknot structure indicate that ORF1b is probably expressed by ribosomal frameshifting. The frameshift-directing potential of the ORF1a/ORF1b overlap region was demonstrated by using a reporter gene. Moreover, the predicted ORF1b product was found to contain four domains which have been identified in the same relative positions in coronavirus and torovirus ORF1b products. The sequences of the EAV and coronavirus ORF1a proteins were found to be much more diverged. The EAV ORF1a product contains a putative trypsinlike serine protease motif. Our data indicate that EAV, presently considered a togavirus, is evolutionarily related to viruses from the coronaviruslike superfamily.
Project description:Recently, toroviruses and coronaviruses have been found to be ancestrally related by divergence of their polymerase and envelope proteins from common ancestors. In addition, their genome organization and expression strategy, which involves the synthesis of a 3'-coterminal nested set of mRNAs, are comparable. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the genome of the torovirus prototype, Berne virus (BEV), has now revealed the results of two independent nonhomologous RNA recombinations during torovirus evolution. Berne virus open reading frame (ORF) 4 encodes a protein with significant sequence similarity (30-35% identical residues) to a part of the hemagglutinin esterase proteins of coronaviruses and influenza virus C. The sequence of the C-terminal part of the predicted BEV polymerase ORF1a product contains 31-36% identical amino acids when compared with the sequence of a nonstructural 30/32K coronavirus protein. The cluster of coronaviruses which contains this nonstructural gene expresses it not as a part of their polymerase, but by synthesizing an additional subgenomic mRNA.
Project description:Nidoviruses with large genomes (26.3-31.7 kb; 'large nidoviruses'), including Coronaviridae and Roniviridae, are the most complex positive-sense single-stranded RNA (ssRNA+) viruses. Based on genome size, they are far separated from all other ssRNA+ viruses (below 19.6 kb), including the distantly related Arteriviridae (12.7-15.7 kb; 'small nidoviruses'). Exceptionally for ssRNA+ viruses, large nidoviruses encode a 3'-5'exoribonuclease (ExoN) that was implicated in controlling RNA replication fidelity. Its acquisition may have given rise to the ancestor of large nidoviruses, a hypothesis for which we here provide evolutionary support using comparative genomics involving the newly discovered first insect-borne nidovirus. This Nam Dinh virus (NDiV), named after a Vietnamese province, was isolated from mosquitoes and is yet to be linked to any pathology. The genome of this enveloped 60-80 nm virus is 20,192 nt and has a nidovirus-like polycistronic organization including two large, partially overlapping open reading frames (ORF) 1a and 1b followed by several smaller 3'-proximal ORFs. Peptide sequencing assigned three virion proteins to ORFs 2a, 2b, and 3, which are expressed from two 3'-coterminal subgenomic RNAs. The NDiV ORF1a/ORF1b frameshifting signal and various replicative proteins were tentatively mapped to canonical positions in the nidovirus genome. They include six nidovirus-wide conserved replicase domains, as well as the ExoN and 2'-O-methyltransferase that are specific to large nidoviruses. NDiV ORF1b also encodes a putative N7-methyltransferase, identified in a subset of large nidoviruses, but not the uridylate-specific endonuclease that - in deviation from the current paradigm - is present exclusively in the currently known vertebrate nidoviruses. Rooted phylogenetic inference by Bayesian and Maximum Likelihood methods indicates that NDiV clusters with roniviruses and that its branch diverged from large nidoviruses early after they split from small nidoviruses. Together these characteristics identify NDiV as the prototype of a new nidovirus family and a missing link in the transition from small to large nidoviruses.
Project description:During the replication of equine arteritis virus (EAV) six subgenomic mRNAs are synthesized. We present evidence that the viral mRNAs form a 3'-coterminal nested set and contain a common leader sequence of 208 nucleotides which is encoded by the 5'-end of the genome. The leader is joined to the bodies of mRNA 5 and 6 at positions defined by the sequence 5' UCAAC 3'. The part of the leader sequence flanking the UCAAC motif is very similar to the 5'-splice site of the Tetrahymena pre-rRNA. A possible internal guide sequence has been identified 43 nucleotides downstream of the leader sequence on the genome. Hybridization analysis shows that all EAV intracellular RNAs contain the leader sequence. These data imply that the viral subgenomic mRNAs are composed of leader and body sequences which are non-contiguous on the genome.
Project description:Pariacoto virus (PaV) was recently isolated in Peru from the Southern armyworm (Spodoptera eridania). PaV particles are isometric, nonenveloped, and about 30 nm in diameter. The virus has a bipartite RNA genome and a single major capsid protein with a molecular mass of 39.0 kDa, features that support its classification as a Nodavirus. As such, PaV is the first Alphanodavirus to have been isolated from outside Australasia. Here we report that PaV replicates in wax moth larvae and that PaV genomic RNAs replicate when transfected into cultured baby hamster kidney cells. The complete nucleotide sequences of both segments of the bipartite RNA genome were determined. The larger genome segment, RNA1, is 3,011 nucleotides long and contains a 973-amino-acid open reading frame (ORF) encoding protein A, the viral contribution to the RNA replicase. During replication, a 414-nucleotide long subgenomic RNA (RNA3) is synthesized which is coterminal with the 3' end of RNA1. RNA3 contains a small ORF which could encode a protein of 90 amino acids similar to the B2 protein of other alphanodaviruses. RNA2 contains 1,311 nucleotides and encodes the 401 amino acids of the capsid protein precursor alpha. The amino acid sequences of the PaV capsid protein and the replicase subunit share 41 and 26% identity with homologous proteins of Flock house virus, the best characterized of the alphanodaviruses. These and other sequence comparisons indicate that PaV is evolutionarily the most distant of the alphanodaviruses described to date, consistent with its novel geographic origin. Although the PaV capsid precursor is cleaved into the two mature capsid proteins beta and gamma, the amino acid sequence at the cleavage site, which is Asn/Ala in all other alphanodaviruses, is Asn/Ser in PaV. To facilitate the investigation of PaV replication in cultured cells, we constructed plasmids that transcribed full-length PaV RNAs with authentic 5' and 3' termini. Transcription of these plasmids in cells recreated the replication of PaV RNA1 and RNA2, synthesis of subgenomic RNA3, and translation of viral proteins A and alpha.
Project description:Nidoviruses produce an extensive 3'-coterminal nested set of subgenomic mRNAs, which are used to express their structural proteins. In addition, arterivirus and coronavirus mRNAs contain a common 5' leader sequence, derived from the genomic 5' end. The joining of this leader sequence to different segments (mRNA bodies) from the genomic 3'-proximal region presumably involves a unique mechanism of discontinuous minus-strand RNA synthesis. Key elements in this process are the so-called transcription-regulating sequences (TRSs), which determine a base-pairing interaction between sense and antisense viral RNA that is essential for leader-to-body joining. To identify RNA structures in the 5'-proximal region of the equine arteritis virus genome that may be involved in subgenomic mRNA synthesis, a detailed secondary RNA structure model was established using bioinformatics, phylogenetic analysis, and RNA structure probing. According to this structure model, the leader TRS is located in the loop of a prominent hairpin (leader TRS hairpin; LTH). The importance of the LTH was supported by the results of a mutagenesis study using an EAV molecular clone. Besides evidence for a direct role of the LTH in subgenomic RNA synthesis, indications for a role of the LTH region in genome replication and/or translation were obtained. Similar LTH structures could be predicted for the 5'-proximal region of all arterivirus genomes and, interestingly, also for most coronaviruses. Thus, we postulate that the LTH is a key structural element in the discontinuous subgenomic RNA synthesis and is likely critical for leader TRS function.
Project description:Simian arteriviruses are a diverse clade of viruses infecting captive and wild nonhuman primates. We recently reported that Kibale red colobus virus 1 (KRCV-1) causes a mild and self-limiting disease in experimentally infected crab-eating macaques, while simian hemorrhagic fever virus (SHFV) causes lethal viral hemorrhagic fever. Here we characterize how these viruses evolved during replication in cell culture and in experimentally infected macaques. During passage in cell culture, 68 substitutions that were localized in open reading frames (ORFs) likely associated with host cell entry and exit became fixed in the KRCV-1 genome. However, we did not detect any strong signatures of selection during replication in macaques. We uncovered patterns of evolution that were distinct from those observed in surveys of wild red colobus monkeys, suggesting that these species may exert different adaptive challenges for KRCV-1. During SHFV infection, we detected signatures of selection on ORF 5a and on a small subset of sites in the genome. Overall, our data suggest that patterns of evolution differ markedly among simian arteriviruses and among host species. IMPORTANCE:Certain RNA viruses can cross species barriers and cause disease in new hosts. Simian arteriviruses are a diverse group of related viruses that infect captive and wild nonhuman primates, with associated disease severity ranging from apparently asymptomatic infections to severe, viral hemorrhagic fevers. We infected nonhuman primate cell cultures and then crab-eating macaques with either simian hemorrhagic fever virus (SHFV) or Kibale red colobus virus 1 (KRCV-1) and assessed within-host viral evolution. We found that KRCV-1 quickly acquired a large number of substitutions in its genome during replication in cell culture but that evolution in macaques was limited. In contrast, we detected selection focused on SHFV ORFs 5a and 5, which encode putative membrane proteins. These patterns suggest that in addition to diverse pathogenic phenotypes, these viruses may also exhibit distinct patterns of within-host evolution both in vitro and in vivo.