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Virol J. 2011 May 20;8:245. doi: 10.1186/1743-422X-8-245.

Lack of processing of the expressed ORF1 gene product of hepatitis E virus.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Proteolytic processing is a common mechanism among plus strand RNA viruses and the replicases of all plus strand RNA viruses of animals thus far characterized undergo such processing. The replicase proteins of hepatitis E virus (HEV) are encoded by ORF1. A previous report published by our group 1 provided data that processing potentially occurred when ORF1 (Burma strain; genotype 1) was expressed using a vaccinia virus-based expression system.

FINDINGS:

To further test for processing and to rule out artifacts associated with the expression system, ORF1 was re-expressed using a plasmid-based expression vector with the result that the previous processing profile could not be confirmed. When ORF1 from an HEV infectious cDNA clone (US swine strain; genotype 3) was expressed using the plasmid-based system, the only species detected was the 185 kDa precursor of ORF1. A putative papain-like cysteine protease 2 had been predicted within ORF1 using the original HEV genomic sequence. However, analysis of subsequent ORF1 sequences from a large number of HEV isolates reveals that this protease motif is not conserved.

CONCLUSIONS:

The expressed HEV ORF1 gene product does not undergo proteolytic processing, indicating that the replicase precursor of HEV is potentially unique in this regard.

PMID:
21595991
PMCID:
PMC3116494
DOI:
10.1186/1743-422X-8-245
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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