The virion of Leishmania RNA virus is predicted to be composed of a 742- amino-acid major capsid protein and a small percentage of capsid-polymerase fusion molecules. Recently, the capsid protein alone was expressed and shown to spontaneously assemble into viruslike particles. Since the major structural protein of the virion shell self-assembles into viruslike particles when expressed in the baculovirus expression system, assembly of the virion can be studied by mutational analysis and expression of a single open reading frame. In this study, several deletions and one addition of the capsid protein of Leishmania RNA virus LRV1-4 were generated. These mutants show different degrees of assembly. Assembly domains are being identified such that the capsid protein may be used as a macromolecular packaging and delivery system for Leishmania species.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science