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J Virol. 2010 Nov;84(21):11310-22. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00512-10. Epub 2010 Aug 25.

Open reading frame E3-10.9K of subspecies B1 human adenoviruses encodes a family of late orthologous proteins that vary in their predicted structural features and subcellular localization.

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Infectious Disease Program, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, 2425 Ridgecrest Drive SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108, USA.


Subspecies B1 human adenoviruses (HAdV-B1s) are important causative agents of acute respiratory disease, but the molecular bases of their distinct pathobiology are still poorly understood. Marked differences in genetic content between HAdV-B1s and the well-characterized HAdV-Cs that may contribute to distinct pathogenic properties map to the E3 region. Between the highly conserved E3-19K and E3-10.4K/RIDα open reading frames (ORFs), and in the same location as the HAdV-C ADP/E3-11.6K ORF, HAdV-B1s carry ORFs E3-20.1K and E3-20.5K and a polymorphic third ORF, designated E3-10.9K, that varies in the size of its predicted product among HAdV-B1 serotypes and genomic variants. As an initial effort to define the function of the E3-10.9K ORF, we carried out a biochemical characterization of E3-10.9K-encoded orthologous proteins and investigated their expression in infected cells. Sequence-based predictions suggested that E3-10.9K orthologs with a hydrophobic domain are integral membrane proteins. Ectopically expressed, C-terminally tagged (with enhanced green fluorescent protein [EGFP]) E3-10.9K and E3-9K localized primarily to the plasma membrane, while E3-7.7K localized primarily to a juxtanuclear compartment that could not be identified. EGFP fusion proteins with a hydrophobic domain were N and O glycosylated. EGFP-tagged E3-4.8K, which lacked the hydrophobic domain, displayed diffuse cellular localization similar to that of the EGFP control. E3-10.9K transcripts from the major late promoter were detected at late time points postinfection. A C-terminally hemagglutinin-tagged version of E3-9K was detected by immunoprecipitation at late times postinfection in the membrane fraction of mutant virus-infected cells. These data suggest a role for ORF E3-10.9K-encoded proteins at late stages of HAdV-B1 replication, with potentially important functional implications for the documented ORF polymorphism.

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