Identification of a ribosomal frameshift in Leishmania RNA virus 1-4

Sang Eun Lee, Jae Myoung Suh, Scott Scheffter, Jean L. Patterson, In Kwon Chung

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    18 Scopus citations


    Double-stranded Leishmania RNA virus 1-4 (LRV 1-4) has at least four open Pending frames (ORFs). The two small ORFs located near its 5' terminus, ORF1 and ORFx, could encode 34- and 60-amino acid polypeptides, respectively. ORF2 encodes an 82-kDa major capsid protein, and ORF3 encodes a 98-kDa polypeptide which contains the consensus sequence for RNA-dependent RNA polymerases of plus-strand and double-stranded RNA viruses. The complete sequence of LRV 1-4 shows that ORF2 and ORF3 overlap by 71 nucleotides, and that ORF3 lacks a potential translation initiation site, suggesting that the viral polymerase may be synthesized as a 180-kDa fusion protein with the virus capsid. In this report, we present evidence for the synthesis of a fusion protein through a ribosomal frameshift. In vitro-translation experiments and immunostudies involving antiserum against the viral capsid protein demonstrated that the overlapping 71 nucleotides of ORF2 and ORF3 are contained in a region which promotes translational frameshifting. Computer analysis of the putative frameshift region revealed a potential pseudoknot structure located within the overlapping 71 nucleotide sequence.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)22-25
    Number of pages4
    JournalJournal of Biochemistry
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jan 1 1996


    • Capsid protein
    • Leishmania RNA virus
    • Pseudoknot structure
    • RNA-dependent RNA polymerases
    • Ribosomal frameshift

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biochemistry
    • Molecular Biology


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