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Virus Res. 1992 Apr;23(1-2):55-72.

Lactate dehydrogenase-elevating virus (LDV): subgenomic mRNAs, mRNA leader and comparison of 3'-terminal sequences of two LDV isolates.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55455.


The 3'-terminal 1314 nucleotides of the genome of one isolate of lactate dehydrogenase-elevating virus, LDV-P, has been derived by sequence analyses of cDNAs from several genomic libraries and compared to that of another LDV isolate, LDV-C (Godeny et al. (1990) Virol. 177, 768-771). The 3'-non-coding segment of 80 nucleotides of the two LDV genomes is identical, whereas marked, but varying nucleotide and amino acid divergence is apparent in the three upstream overlapping open reading frames (ORF). The third ORF from the 3'-end exhibits only 82% nucleotide and 90% amino acid identity, whereas the 3'-terminal ORF, which encodes the nucleocapsid protein, exhibits approximately 99% amino acid identity. The second 3'-terminal ORF encodes an 18.8 kDa protein which lacks N-glycosylation sites but possesses 2 or 3 potential transmembrane helices in the N-terminal half of the molecule. A similar membrane organization is observed for the corresponding protein of equine arteritis virus and the M protein of mouse hepatitis virus. The sequence analyses combined with Northern hybridization analyses of RNA from LDV-infected macrophages and spleens of LDV-infected mice indicate that the three ORFs encoded by the 3'-terminal end of the LDV genome are expressed via the three smallest mRNAs (mRNAs 6-8) of the seven subgenomic mRNAs of LDV (mRNAs 2-8), which range in size from about 0.8 to 3.6 kb. All mRNAs have been shown to carry poly(A)-tracts and a common leader sequence. The seven mRNAs were produced in infected macrophage cultures concomitantly with genomic LDV RNA. Maximum LDV RNA synthesis was observed between 6 and 8 h post-infection. The same seven subgenomic mRNAs were detected in macrophages infected with three different isolates of LDV, but different relative amounts of some of the mRNAs were produced. The relative proportions of molecules of mRNAs 1-8 present in 6 h LDV-P-infected macrophages were about 13, 5, 5, 8, 6, 11, 11 and 27% of the total, respectively.

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