Three functionally diverged major White Spot Syndrome Virus structural proteins evolved by gene duplication

M.C.W. van Hulten, R.W. Goldbach, J.M. Vlak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) is an invertebrate virus causing considerable mortality in penaeid shrimp. The oval-to-bacilliform shaped virions, isolated from infected Penaeus monodon, contain four major proteins: VP28, VP26, VP24 and VP19 (28, 26, 24 and 19 kDa, respectively). VP26 and VP24 are associated with the nucleocapsid and the remaining two with the envelope. Forty-one N-terminal amino acids of VP24 were determined biochemically allowing the identification of its gene (vp24) in the WSSV genome. Computer-assisted analysis revealed a striking similarity between WSSV VP24, VP26 and VP28 at the amino acid and nucleotide sequence level. This strongly suggests that these structural protein genes may have evolved by gene duplication and subsequently diverged into proteins with different functions in the WSSV virion, i.e. envelope and nucleocapsid. None of these three structural WSSV proteins showed homology to proteins of other viruses including baculoviruses, underscoring the distinct taxonomic position of WSSV among invertebrate viruses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2525-2529
JournalJournal of General Virology
Volume81
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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