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Extremophiles. 2006 Dec;10(6):615-27. Epub 2006 Aug 3.

Characterization of the Sulfolobus host-SSV2 virus interaction.

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Department of Biological Chemistry, Institute of Molecular Biology and Physiology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.


The Sulfolobus spindle virus, SSV2, encodes a tyrosine integrase which furthers provirus formation in host chromosomes. Consistently with the prediction made during sequence analysis, integration was found to occur in the downstream half of the tRNA(Gly) (CCC) gene. In this paper we report the findings of a comparative study of SSV2 physiology in the natural host, Sulfolobus islandicus REY15/4, versus the foreign host, Sulfolobus solfataricus, and provide evidence of differently regulated SSV2 life cycles in the two hosts. In fact, whereas a significant induction of SSV2 replication takes place during the growth of the natural host REY15/4, the cellular content of SSV2 DNA remains fairly low throughout the incubation of the foreign host. The accumulation of episomal DNA in the former case cannot be traced to decreased packaging activity because of a simultaneous increase in the virus titre in the medium. In addition, the interaction between SSV2 and its natural host is characterized by the concurrence of host growth inhibition and the induction of viral DNA replication. When this virus-host interaction was investigated using S. islandicus REY15A, a strain which is closely related to the natural host, it was found that the SSV2 replication process was induced in the same way as in the natural host REY15/4.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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