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J Mol Biol. 1985 Mar 20;182(2):183-9.

Structure of the black beetle virus genome and its functional implications.


The black beetle virus (BBV) is an isometric insect virus whose genome consists of two messenger-active RNA molecules encapsidated in a single virion. The nucleotide sequence of BBV RNA1 (3105 bases) has been determined, and this, together with the sequence of BBV RNA2 (1399 bases) provides the complete primary structure of the BBV genome. The RNA1 sequence encompasses a 5' non-coding region of 38 nucleotides, a coding region for a protein of predicted molecular weight 101,873 (protein A, implicated in viral RNA synthesis) and a 3' proximal region encoding RNA3 (389 bases), a subgenomic messenger RNA made in infected cells but not encapsidated into virions. The RNA3 sequence starts 16 bases inside the coding region of protein A and contains two overlapping open reading frames for proteins of molecular weight 10,760 and 11,633, one of which is believed to be protein B, made in BBV-infected cells. A limited homology exists between the sequences of RNA1 and RNA2. Sequence regions have been identified that provide energetically favorable bonding between RNA2 and RNA1 possibly to facilitate their common encapsidation, and between RNA2 and negative strand RNA1 possibly to regulate the production of RNA3.

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