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J Gen Virol. 2000 Jan;81(Pt 1):257-66.

The '30K' superfamily of viral movement proteins.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA.


Relationships among the amino acid sequences of viral movement proteins related to the 30 kDa ('30K') movement protein of tobacco mosaic virus - the 30K superfamily - were explored. Sequences were grouped into 18 families. A comparison of secondary structure predictions for each family revealed a common predicted core structure flanked by variable N- and C-terminal domains. The core consisted of a series of beta-elements flanked by an alpha-helix on each end. Consensus sequences for each of the families were generated and aligned with one another. From this alignment an overall secondary structure prediction was generated and a consensus sequence that can recognize each family in database searches was obtained. The analysis led to criteria that were used to evaluate other virus-encoded proteins for possible membership of the 30K superfamily. A rhabdoviral and a tenuiviral protein were identified as 30K superfamily members, as were plant-encoded phloem proteins. Parsimony analysis grouped tubule-forming movement proteins separate from others. Establishment of the alignment of residues of diverse families facilitates comparison of mutagenesis experiments done on different movement proteins and should serve as a guide for further such experiments.

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