Singapore grouper iridovirus (SGIV), as a causative agent of serious systemic disease, causes significant economic losses in grouper aquaculture. In this study, a novel ICP18 homolog encoded by SGIV ORF086R was identified and characterized. Strikingly, ICP18 homologs can be found in all ranaviruses, but not in other sequenced large DNA viruses. SGIV ICP18 is an immediate-early gene and begins to be transcribed as early as 2 h post-infection (p.i.). Western blotting indicated that SGIV ICP18 is translated as early as 6 h p.i. and is a viral non-envelope protein. Subcellular localization analysis revealed that the SGIV ICP18 displays a finely punctate cytoplasmic pattern. Furthermore, overexpression of SGIV ICP18 can promote the growth of grouper embryonic cells (GP) and contribute to SGIV replication. These results should offer important insights into the pathogenesis of ranaviruses.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 1, 2009
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