3 years ago

Evidence for the role of basic amino acids in the coat protein arm region of Cucumber necrosis virus in particle assembly and selective encapsidation of viral RNA

Cucumber necrosis virus (CNV) is a T = 3 icosahedral virus with a (+)ssRNA genome. The N-terminal CNV coat protein arm contains a conserved, highly basic sequence (“KGRKPR”), which we postulate is involved in RNA encapsidation during virion assembly. Seven mutants were constructed by altering the CNV “KGRKPR” sequence; the four basic residues were mutated to alanine individually, in pairs, or in total. Virion accumulation and vRNA encapsidation were significantly reduced in mutants containing two or four substitutions and virion morphology was also affected, where both T = 1 and intermediate-sized particles were produced. Mutants with two or four substitutions encapsidated significantly greater levels of truncated RNA than that of WT, suggesting that basic residues in the “KGRKPR” sequence are important for encapsidation of full-length CNV RNA. Interestingly, “KGRKPR” mutants also encapsidated relatively higher levels of host RNA, suggesting that the “KGRKPR” sequence also contributes to selective encapsidation of CNV RNA.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0042682217303033

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