Fowlpox virus encodes nonessential homologs of cellular alpha-SNAP, PC-1, and an orphan human homolog of a secreted nematode protein.
Laidlaw SM., Anwar MA., Thomas W., Green P., Shaw K., Skinner MA.
The genome of fowlpox virus (FWPV), type species of the Avipoxviridae, is considerably rearranged compared with that of vaccinia virus (the prototypic poxvirus and type species of the Orthopoxviridae) and is 30% larger. It is likely that the genome of FWPV contains genes in addition to those found in vaccinia virus, probably involved with its replication and survival in the chicken. A 7,470-bp segment of the FWPV genome has five open reading frames (ORFs), two of which encode ankyrin repeat proteins, many examples of which have been found in poxviruses. The remaining ORFs encode homologs of cellular genes not reported in any other virus. ORF-2 encodes a homolog of the yeast Sec17p and mammalian SNAP proteins, crucial to vesicular transport in the exocytic pathway. ORF-3 encodes a homolog of an orphan human protein, R31240_2, encoded on 19p13.2. ORF-3 is also homologous to three proteins (YLS2, YMV6, and C07B5.5) from the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and to a 43-kDa antigen from the parasitic nematode Trichinella spiralis. ORF-5 encodes a homolog of the mammalian plasma cell antigen PC-1, a type II glycoprotein with exophosphodiesterase activity. The ORFs are present in the virulent precursor, HP1, of the sequenced attenuated virus (FP9) and are conserved in other strains of FWPV. They were shown, by deletion mutagenesis, to be nonessential to virus replication in tissue culture. RNA encoding the viral homolog of PC-1 is expressed strongly early and late in infection, but RNAs encoding the homologs of SNAP and R31240_2 are expressed weakly and late.