Chlorella viruses contain genes encoding a complete polyamine biosynthetic pathway

Sascha Baumann, Adrianne Sander, James R. Gurnon, Giane M. Yanai-Balser, James L. Van Etten, Markus Piotrowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations


Two genes encoding the putative polyamine biosynthetic enzymes agmatine iminohydrolase (AIH) and N-carbamoylputrescine amidohydrolase (CPA) were cloned from the chloroviruses PBCV-1, NY-2A and MT325. They were expressed in Escherichia coli to form C-terminal (His)6-tagged proteins and the recombinant proteins were purified by Ni2+-binding affinity chromatography. The biochemical properties of the two enzymes are similar to AIH and CPA enzymes from Arabidopsis thaliana and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Together with the previously known virus genes encoding ornithine/arginine decarboxlyase (ODC/ADC) and homospermidine synthase, the chloroviruses have genes that encode a complete set of functional enzymes that synthesize the rare polyamine homospermidine from arginine via agmatine, N-carbamoylputrescine and putrescine. The PBCV-1 aih and cpa genes are expressed early during virus infection together with the odc/adc gene, suggesting that biosynthesis of putrescine is important in early stages of viral replication. The aih and cpa genes are widespread in the chlorella viruses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-217
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 30 2007


  • Agmatine iminohydrolase
  • Arginine decarboxylase
  • Chlorella viruses
  • N-Carbamoylputrescine amidohydrolase
  • PBCV-1
  • Phycodnaviridae
  • Polyamines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology

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    Baumann, S., Sander, A., Gurnon, J. R., Yanai-Balser, G. M., Van Etten, J. L., & Piotrowski, M. (2007). Chlorella viruses contain genes encoding a complete polyamine biosynthetic pathway. Virology, 360(1), 209-217.