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Virus Res. 1988 May;10(2-3):113-35.

Structure, function, and intracellular processing of paramyxovirus membrane proteins.

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Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester.


Paramyxoviruses are a fascinating group of viruses with diverse hosts and disease manifestations. They are valuable systems for studying viral pathogenesis, molecular mechanisms of negative strand viral replication, and glycoprotein structure and function. In the past few years this group of viruses has received increased attention and as a result there is a wealth of new information. For example, most of the genes of many paramyxoviruses have been cloned and sequenced. The recent availability of sequence information from a number of paramyxoviruses now allows the direct comparison of the amino acid sequence and determinants of secondary structure of analogous genes across the family of viruses. Such comparisons are revealing for two reasons. First, results provide clues to the evolution of these viruses. Second, and more importantly, comparisons of analogous genes may point to sequences and structural determinants that are central to the function of the individual proteins. Below is a comparison of five of the paramyxovirus genes with a discussion of the implications of common structural determinants for function, intracellular processing, and evolutionary origin. The focus is on the paramyxovirus membrane proteins, although other proteins are discussed briefly.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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