Send to

Choose Destination
EMBO J. 1996 Jan 2;15(1):23-33.

Genetic variation of the poliovirus genome with two VPg coding units.

Author information

Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA.


Amongst the picornaviruses, poliovirus encodes a single copy of the genome-linked protein, VPg wheras foot-and-mouth disease virus uniquely encodes three copies of VPg. We have previously shown that a genetically engineered poliovirus genome containing two tandemly arranged VPgs is quasi-infectious (qi) that, upon genome replication, inadvertently deleted one complete VPg sequence. Using two genetically marked viral genomes with two VPg sequences, we now provide evidence that this deletion occurs via homologous recombination. The mechanism was abrogated when the second VPg was engineered such that its nucleotide sequence differed from that of the first VPg sequence by 36%. Such genomes also expressed a qi phenotype, but progeny viruses resulted from (i) random deletions yielding single VPg coding sequences of varying length lacking the Q*G cleavage site between the VPgs and (ii) mutations in the AKVQ*G cleavage sites between the VPgs at either the P4, P1 or P1' position. These variants present a unique genetic system defining the cleavage signals recognized in 3Cpro-catalyzed proteolysis. We propose a recognition event in the cis cleavages of the polyprotein P2-P3 region, and we present a hypothesis why the poliovirus genome does not tolerate two tandemly arranged VPg sequences.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center