DNA Sequence Homology between the Terminal Inverted Repeats of Shope Fibroma Virus and an Endogenous Cellular Plasmid Species




Upton, Chris
McFadden, Grant

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American Society for Microbiology


DNA hybridization experiments indicate that the genome of a tumorigenic poxvirus. Shope fibroma virus (SFV), possesses sequence homology with DNA isolated from uninfected rabbit cells. Southern blotting experiments, either with high-complexity rabbit DNA as probe and SFV restriction fragments as targets or with high-specific activity, 32P-labeled, cloned SFV sequences as probes and rabbit DNA as target, indicate that the homologous sequences map at two locations within the viral genome, one in each copy of the terminal inverted repeat sequences. Unexpectedly, Southern blots revealed that the homologous host sequences reside in a rabbit extrachromosomal DNA element. This autonomous low-molecular-weight DNA species could be specifically amplified by cycloheximide treatment and was shown by isopycnic centrifugation in cesium chloride-ethidium bromide to consist predominantly of covalently closed circular DNA molecules. DNA sequencing of pSIC-9, a cloned 1.9-kilobase fragment of the rabbit plasmid species, indicated extensive homology at the nucleotide level over a 1.5-kilobase stretch of the viral terminal inverted repeat. Analysis of open reading frames in both the plasmid and SFV DNA revealed that (i) the N-terminal 157-amino acid sequence of a potential 514-amino acid SFV polypeptide is identical to the N-terminal 157 amino acids of one pSIC-9 open reading frame, and (ii) a second long pSIC-9 open reading frame of 361 amino acids, although significantly diverged from the comparable nucleotide sequence in the virus, possessed considerable homology to a family of cellular protease inhibitors, including alpha 1-antichymotrypsin, alpha 1-antitrypsin, and antithrombin III. The potential role of such cellular plasmid-like DNA species as a mediator in the exchange of genetic information between the host cell and a cytoplasmically replicating poxvirus is discussed.




C Upton and G McFadden. Mol. Cell. Biol. January 1986 vol. 6 no. 1 p.265-276