Transcriptional analysis of the white spot syndrome virus major virion protein genes

H. Marks, M. Mennens, J.M. Vlak, M.C.W. van Hulten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) is a member of a new virus family (Nimaviridae) infecting crustaceans. The regulation of transcription of WSSV genes is largely unknown. Transcription of the major WSSV structural virion protein genes, vp28, vp26, vp24, vp19 and vp15, was studied to search for common promoter motifs for coordinate expression. The temporal expression of these genes and both 5' and 3' ends of the mRNA were determined, using infected crayfish gill tissue as a RNA source. RT-PCR showed that all five genes are expressed late in infection compared to the early ribonucleotide reductase large subunit gene. 5' RACE studies revealed a consensus late transcription initiation motif for only two of the five major virion protein genes. This motif was only found in one other upstream region of the putative translational start site of a gene with unknown function (ORF 158). No other conserved sequence motifs could be detected in the sequences surrounding the transcriptional start sites of the five major virion protein genes. All 5' ends were located about 25 nt downstream of an A/T rich sequence, including the consensus TATA-box sequence for vp15. The absence of a consensus motif is distinct from gene regulation of other large dsDNA viruses and suggests a unique regulation of WSSV transcription, in line with its unique taxonomic position.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1517-1523
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of General Virology
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • structural proteins
  • genome sequence
  • late promoters
  • shrimp
  • baculovirus
  • identification
  • wssv
  • expression
  • infection
  • encodes

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Transcriptional analysis of the white spot syndrome virus major virion protein genes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this