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FEBS Lett. 1992 Feb 3;297(1-2):81-6.

An insect picornavirus may have genome organization similar to that of caliciviruses.

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Institute of Microbiology, USSR Academy of Sciences, Moscow.


Computer-assisted analysis of the amino acid sequence of the product encoded by the sequenced 3' portion of the cricket paralysis virus (CrPV), an insect picornavirus, genome showed that this protein is homologous not to the RNA-directed RNA polymerases, as originally suggested, but to the capsid proteins of mammalian picornaviruses. Alignment of the CrPV protein sequence with those of picornavirus and calicivirus capsid proteins demonstrated that the sequenced portion of the insect picornavirus genome encodes the C-terminal part of VP3 and the entire VP1. Thus CrPV seems to have a genome organization distinct from that of other picornaviruses but closely resembling that of caliciviruses, with the capsid proteins encoded in the 3' part of the genome. On the other hand, the tentative phylogenetic trees generated from the VP3 alignment revealed grouping of CrPV with hepatitis A virus, a true picornavirus, not with caliciviruses. Thus CrPV may be a picornavirus with a calicivirus-like genome organization. Different options for CrPV genome expression are discussed.

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