Researchers report the most complete list so far of proteins present in a virus that causes severe shrimp mortality and significant economic losses to shrimp cultivation worldwide. This discovery could help understand how the virus is assembled and how it infects shrimps.
White spot syndrome is a viral infection of shrimps that is highly lethal and contagious, killing shrimps within 7 to 10 days. In 1993, this disease resulted in a virtual collapse of the Chinese shrimp farming industry and, by 1996, it had severely affected East and South Asia. The disease was reported in the United States in late 1995. Although no treatment for the disease is available yet, scientists have been studying the proteins that make up the virus to understand how it infects shrimps and avoids their immune system.
Choy-Leong Hew and colleagues showed that the virus is assembled by at least 58 proteins, including 13 proteins which are reported for the first time. The scientists also localized 33 of the proteins on the envelope, which is the membrane surrounding the virus, and nine proteins in the nucleocapsid, the core of the virus that contains its genetic material.
Although Hew and colleagues do not know yet how these proteins work together, their localization in the virus is shedding light on some of their functions and will help determine which ones could be targeted by antiviral drugs.
Article: "Shotgun Identification of the Structural Proteome of Shrimp White Spot Syndrome Virus and iTRAQ Differentiation of Envelope and Nucleocapsid Subproteomes," by Zhengjun Li, Qingsong Lin, Jing Chen, Jin Lu Wu, Teck Kwang Lim, Siew See Loh, Xuhua Tang, and Choy-Leong Hew, Molecular & Cellular Proteomics Sept. 2007
Materials provided by American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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