Genetic diversity in chlorella viruses flanking kcv, a gene that encodes a potassium ion channel protein

Ming Kang, Micheal Graves, Mario Mehmel, Anna Moroni, Sabrina Gazzarrini, Gerhard Thiel, James R. Gurnon, James L. Van Etten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The chlorella virus PBCV-1 encodes a 94-amino acid protein named Kcv that produces a K +-selective and slightly voltage-sensitive conductance when expressed in heterologous systems. As reported herein, (i) Northern analysis of kcv expression in PBCV-1-infected cells revealed a complicated pattern suggesting that the gene might be transcribed as a di- or tri-cistronic mRNA both at early and late times after virus infection. (ii) The protein kinase inhibitors H-89, A3, and staurosporine inhibited PBCV-1 Kcv activity in Xenopus oocytes, suggesting that Kcv activity might be controlled by phosphorylation or dephosphorylation. (iii) The PBCV-1 genomic sequence revealed a gene encoding a putative protein kinase (pkx) adjacent to kcv. These findings prompted us to examine the kcv flanking regions in 16 additional chlorella viruses and transcription in two of these viruses, as well as the effect of the three protein kinase inhibitors on two Kcv homologs in Xenopus oocytes. The results indicate (i) pkx is always located 5′ to kcv, but the spacing between the two genes varies from 31 to 1588 nucleotides. More variation occurs in the kcv 3′ flanking region of the 16 viruses. (ii) The kcv gene is expressed as a late mono-cistronic mRNA. (iii) Unlike the affect on PBCV-1 Kcv, the three protein kinase inhibitors have little or no effect on the activity of the two Kcv homologs in oocytes. (iv) A comparison of the kcv 5′ upstream sequences from the 16 viruses identified a highly conserved 10-nucleotide sequence that is present in the promoter region of all of the viruses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-159
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 15 2004


  • Chlorella viruses
  • Kcv
  • PBCV-1
  • Phosphorylation
  • Potassium ion channel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology

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