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Virology. 1992 Feb;186(2):777-82.

Frame-shift mutations within the vaccinia virus A-type inclusion protein gene.

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Laboratory of Viral Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


The genetic basis for the failure of vaccinia virus (strain WR) to form a full-length 150 kiloDalton (kDa) A-type inclusion protein was determined by sequencing a 4.1-kb pair segment of DNA and analyzing its transcription products. Open reading frames predicted to encode slightly overlapping 84.5- and 27.1-kDa proteins homologous to contiguous N-terminal segments of the A-type inclusion protein of cowpox virus were found. A putative deletion of two adjacent nucleotides occurring within several consecutive AG repeats and an insertion of 8 nucleotides accounted for the first and second reading frame shifts, respectively. Additional small mutations affecting reading frames were present in the C-terminal region of the gene. The vaccinia and cowpox virus mRNAs encoding the disparate size A-type inclusion proteins were similar in length, had equivalent 5' and 3' ends, and were expressed late in infection indicating the absence of mutations affecting transcriptional signals.

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