Genomes of four tick-borne encephalitis virus strains, isolated from the blood of the individuals after tick bites and causing no clinical symptoms of infection, were characterized. Analysis of translated polypeptides revealed 21 amino acid positions typical of this group of strains and distinguishing them from the other tick-borne encephalitis virus strains of Far Eastern subtype examined earlier. Only three mutations led to substantial amino acid changes, which probably could affect the infection process severity. It is suggested that two associated mutations, deletion of amino acid 111 in the capsid protein C and substitution (Ser1534 → Phe) in the NS3 protein influence strictly coordinated polyprotein processing, disturbing correct arrangement of viral particles. This process can result in the development of defect viral particles, containing no RNA. Mutation (Ser917 → Gly) in nonstructural protein NS1 results in the substitution of hydrophilic amino acid, specific to highly virulent strains, by the hydrophobic one. This could influence the effectiveness of viral replication complex, thereby affecting the infectivity of tick-borne encephalitis virus strains.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 23, 2010
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