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J Virol. 2012 Nov;86(22):12411-3. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01677-12. Epub 2012 Sep 5.

Evolutionary conservation of the PA-X open reading frame in segment 3 of influenza A virus.

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  • 1Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, Department of Biology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA.


PA-X is a fusion protein of influenza A virus encoded in part from a +1 frameshifted X open reading frame (X-ORF) in segment 3. We show that the X-ORFs of diverse influenza A viruses can be divided into two groups that differ in selection pressure and likely function, reflected in the presence of an internal stop codon and a change in synonymous diversity. Notably, truncated forms of PA-X evolved convergently in swine and dogs, suggesting a strong species-specific effect.

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