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Functional mapping of PVX RNA-dependent RNA-replicase using pentapeptide scanning mutagenesis - Identification of regions essential for replication and subgenomic RNA amplification

  • Autor/in: Draghici, H.-K., R. Pilot, H. Thiel, M. Varrelmann
  • Jahr: 2009
  • Zeitschrift: Virus Research 143
  • Seite/n: 114-124
  • Stichworte: Alpha-like virus PVX Replication Replicase functional domains Random mutagenesis


The replicase protein of Potato virus X (PVX), type species of the genus Potexvirus, was selected to identify regions essential for replication and subgenomic RNA synthesis. Replicase amino acid (aa) sequence alignment of 16 Potexvirus species resulted in the detection of overall sequence homology of 34.4–65.4%. Two regions of consensus with a high proportion of conserved aa (1–411 and 617–1437 according to PVX) were separated by a hyper-variable linker region. Pentapeptide scanning (PS) mutagenesis in a PVX full-length clone expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) was carried out. For 69 selected PS-mutants where insertions were spread randomly over the replicase ORF the position of the insertion was determined. The replication activity was evaluated by GFP expression from subgenomic viral RNA of PVX replicase mutants. Only one functional PS-mutant was detected in the N-terminal 430 aa, containing the conserved methyltransferase domain of the protein. In the linker region from aa 430–595, nine mutations were discovered which did not induce significant effects on the replicase replication ability. The part of the protein including helicase and polymerase domains was highly intolerant for the PS insertion as demonstrated by 24 independent more or less uniformly spread mutants.
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