Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Chaperone Genes in Viruses

It turns out mimivirus isn't the only virus whose genome encodes a heat shock protein. The Closteroviridae also have what looks like a Hsp70 gene. (This explains why things like "strawberry chlorotic fleck associated virus" and "raspberry mottle virus" show up in my BLAST searches when I compare Mycoplasma genitalium's dnaK against virus genomes.) In contrast to mimivirus, which is extremely large (1200 genes), the Closteroviridae are relatively compact RNA viruses with 8 to 12 genes.

As far as I know, no other viruses encode heat-shock proteins. One wonders why.

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