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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A conserved, precise RNA encapsidation pattern in Tobamovirus particles.

The bidirectional RNA encapsidation pathway in nine sequenced Type 1 Tobamovirus genomes will result in RNA-coat protein assembly, up to and including the first transcribed G, adjacent to the 5'-cap structure (m7 Gppp). This precision is highly conserved, despite wide interstrain variations in the absolute position of the phase-determining core of the origin-of-assembly sequence (Gxx)n and in overall genome length (6311-6507 nts). A Type 2 Tobamovirus genome did not comply with this pattern. All genomes had a statistically significant bias for G at every third (or 3n) position, resulting in a preponderance of GNN codons and hence a high Val, Ala, Gly, Asp, Glu content, at least in the large (126/183 kDa) and amino-coterminal replicase protein genes. Contrary to predictions from the X-ray fibre diffraction structure of tobacco mosaic virus (TMV, U1 strain), only one (pepper mild mottle virus) of the nine Type 1 Tobamoviruses positioned the preferred G-repeat in the most favourable (5') position of the trinucleotide binding site on each coat protein ( CP) subunit. In all but one of the eight remaining Type 1 Tobamovirus genomes, G would predominate in the CP 3'-site. The significance of these observations for TMV particle assembly, disassembly and host cell interactions are discussed.[1]


  1. A conserved, precise RNA encapsidation pattern in Tobamovirus particles. Wilson, T.M., McNicol, J.W. Arch. Virol. (1995) [Pubmed]
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