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Firth, AE,Blitvich, BJ,Wills, NM,Miller, CL,Atkins, JF;
2010
January
Virology
Evidence for ribosomal frameshifting and a novel overlapping gene in the genomes of insect-specific flaviviruses
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Flavivirus Sequence analysis Ribosomal frameshifting Translation Insect-specific flavivirus Overlapping gene NS2A FUSING AGENT VIRUS NATURAL MOSQUITO POPULATION STRANDED-RNA VIRUSES KAMITI RIVER VIRUS CULEX FLAVIVIRUS REPLICATION COMPLEX BORNE FLAVIVIRUSES RETROVIRAL RNA NS1 PROTEIN WEST NILE
399
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Flaviviruses have a positive-sense, single-stranded RNA genome of similar to 11 kb, encoding a large polyprotein that is cleaved to produce similar to 10 mature proteins. Cell fusing agent virus, Kamiti River virus, Culex flavivirus and several recently discovered flaviviruses have no known vertebrate host and apparently infect only insects. We present compelling bioinformatic evidence for a 253-295 codon overlapping gene (designated fifo) conserved throughout these insect-specific flaviviruses and immunofluorescent detection of its product. Fifo overlaps the NS2A/NS2B coding sequence in the - 1/+ 2 reading frame and is most likely expressed as a trans-frame fusion protein via ribosomal frameshifting at a conserved GGAUUUY slippery heptanucleotide with 3'-adjacent RNA secondary structure (which stimulates efficient frameshifting in vitro). The discovery bears striking parallels to the recently discovered ribosomal frameshifting site in the NS2A coding sequence of the Japanese encephalitis serogroup of flaviviruses and suggests that programmed ribosomal frameshifting may be more widespread in flaviviruses than currently realized. (C) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
DOI 10.1016/j.virol.2009.12.033
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