The abundant R2 mRNA generated by aleutian mink disease parvovirus is tricistronic, encoding NS2, VP1, and VP2.
The abundant R2 mRNA encoded by the single left-end promoter of Aleutian mink disease parvovirus is tricistronic; it not only expresses the capsid proteins VP1 and VP2 but is also the major source for the nonstructural protein NS2. A cis-acting sequence within the NS2 gene was shown to be required for efficient capsid protein production, and its effect displayed a distinct location dependence. Ribosome transit through the upstream NS2 gene region was necessary for efficient VP1 and VP2 expression; however, neither ablation nor improvement of the NS2 initiating AUG had an effect on capsid protein production, suggesting that the translation of the NS2 protein per se had little influence on VP1 and VP2 expression. Thus, proper control of the alternative translation of the tricistronic R2 mRNA, a process critical for viral replication, is governed in a complex manner.
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