Evidence for a non-fusogenic aquareovirus encoding a transmembrane protein

Yu, Fei, et al. “Evidence for a non-fusogenic aquareovirus encoding a transmembrane protein.” Archives of Virology (2022): 1-5. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00705-021-05297-3


Fusogenic aquareoviruses can induce host cell-cell fusion, forming syncytia via a fusion-associated transmembrane protein. However, there have been very few reports on non-fusogenic aquareoviruses encoding a membrane-associated protein. Previously, sequence-based analysis has indicated that grass carp reovirus strain 104 (GCRV-104), a non-fusogenic aquareovirus, encodes the proteins VP8 (nt 36-263) and VP15 (nt 400-822) in its genome segment S11. Here, we employed a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry assay to experimentally annotate small coding genes in the GCRV-104 genome and confirmed that segment S11 indeed functions as bicistronic mRNA. Notably, some additional polypeptides were identified that are encoded upstream of the VP15 open reading frame (ORF), which suggests that the virus uses a novel ORF with a non-AUG initiator codon, tentatively named VP15L (nt 274-822), which is longer than the previous putative VP15 ORF. Furthermore, a transmembrane domain was identified at the N-terminus of VP15L, but its function is unclear. Thus, the aquareovirus GCRV-104 potentially encodes a transmembrane protein, which opens a new perspective on the properties of viral proteins and the pathogenesis of this non-fusogenic reovirus.