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Virology. 1995 Oct 1;212(2):741-5.

Distant strains of the fish rhabdovirus VHSV maintain a sixth functional cistron which codes for a nonstructural protein of unknown function.

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Unité de Virologie et Immunologie Moléculaires, INRA, Jouy-En-Josas, France.


We used direct RNA sequencing to determine the genomic organization of the region downstream from the G gene of viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV), a fish rhabdovirus. This region contains a gene coding for a protein, identified as nonvirion protein (NV), and the gene coding for the RNA polymerase (L). Thus, VHSV genome organization was confirmed to be 3'-N-P-M-G-NV-L-5'. In both a virulent European (07-71) and an avirulent North American (Makah) strain, the NV gene is transcribed into a small mRNA that codes for a protein of 122 amino acids. It has no significant sequence similarity with the infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus NV protein nor with any other known protein. We expressed the NV protein as a fusion protein with the glutathione S-transferase of Schistosoma japonicum and used the purified fusion protein to immunize rabbits. The rabbit antiserum precipitated from infected cell extracts--and not from noninfected cells or purified virions--a protein of 14 kDa, well in accordance with the expected NV gene product size. The prediction that the NV protein is a nonstructural protein is supported by its absence from mature virions although it is present in infected cells.

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