Molecular characterization of positive-strand RNA viruses: pestiviruses and the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV).

Archives of virology. Supplementum

PubMedID: 8219812

Thiel HJ, Meyers G, Stark R, Tautz N, Rümenapf T, Unger G, Conzelmann KK. Molecular characterization of positive-strand RNA viruses: pestiviruses and the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV). Arch Virol Suppl. 1993;741-52.
Molecular characterization has become an important tool for the analysis of viruses including their classification. The manuscript focuses on the molecular analysis of two members of the genus pestivirus (hog cholera virus, HCV and bovine viral diarrhea virus, BVDV) and of the recently discovered porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV). The first protein encoded within the single large pestivirus ORF is a nonstructural protein with autoproteolytic activity. The cleavage site between the protease and the capsid protein p14 has been predicted previously, but recent experimental data indicate that processing occurs at a different site. The capsid protein is followed by a putative internal signal sequence and three glycoproteins which are part of the virion envelope. According to a new proposal for the nomenclature of the structural proteins of pestiviruses they are termed C, E0, E1 and E2. The genomes of BVDV pairs isolated from animals which came down with mucosal disease were analyzed. The genomes from cytopathogenic (cp) BVD viruses may contain insertions highly homologous to cellular sequences. In addition, cp BVDV may differ from its non cytopathogenic (noncp) counterpart by mere rearrangement of viral sequences. The disease PRRS, which emerged a few years ago, is caused by a single strand RNA virus; the viral genome is of positive polarity and has a size of 15 kb. Data concerning morphology, morphogenesis and virion composition suggested already that PRRSV belongs to a group of so-called arteriviruses which comprises equine arteritis virus (EAV), lactate dehydrogenase elevating virus (LDV) and simian hemorrhagic fever virus (SHFV). This conclusion has now been confirmed by analysis of genome organization, gene expression strategy and by comparison of deduced protein sequences.