Caister Academic Press

The Yeast dsRNA Virus L-A Resembles Mammalian dsRNA Virus Cores

Reed B. Wickner, Jinghua Tang, Nora A. Gardner and John E. Johnson
from: Segmented Double-stranded RNA Viruses: Structure and Molecular Biology (Edited by: John T. Patton). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2008)


The L-A dsRNA virus of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has a single 4.6 kb genomic segment that encodes its major coat protein, Gag (76 kDa) and a Gag-Pol fusion protein (180 kDa) formed by a -1 ribosomal frameshift. L-A can support the replication and encapsidation in separate viral particles of any of several satellite dsRNAs, called M dsRNAs, each of which encodes a secreted protein toxin (the killer toxin) and immunity to that toxin. L-A and M are transmitted from cell to cell by the cytoplasmic mixing that occurs in the process of mating. Neither is naturally released from the cell or enters cells by other mechanisms, but the high frequency of yeast mating in nature results in the wide distribution of these viruses in natural isolates. Moreover, the structural and functional similarities with dsRNA viruses of mammals has made it useful to consider these entities as viruses. The common structure of L-A dsRNA virions and the cores of dsRNA viruses of higher eukaryotes may reflect similarities in their replication cycles, specifically, the fact that both transcription and replication reactions occur within the virion requiring movement of the RNA template during this process. The L-A major coat protein has an unique mRNA decapping activity essential for expression of the capless viral messages read more ...
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