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A Potassium Channel Protein Encoded by Chlorella Virus PBCV-1

Science  03 Mar 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5458, pp. 1641-1644
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5458.1641

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Abstract

The large chlorella virus PBCV-1, which contains double-stranded DNA (dsDNA), encodes a 94-codon open reading frame (ORF) that contains a motif resembling the signature sequence of the pore domain of potassium channel proteins. Phylogenetic analyses of the encoded protein, Kcv, indicate a previously unidentified type of potassium channel. The messenger RNA encoded by the ORF leads to functional expression of a potassium-selective conductance in Xenopus laevis oocytes. The channel blockers amantadine and barium, but not cesium, inhibit this conductance, in addition to virus plaque formation. Thus, PBCV-1 encodes the first known viral protein that functions as a potassium-selective channel and is essential in the virus life cycle.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: gthiel{at}gwdvms.gwdg.de

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