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Viruses 2019, 11(1), 66;

Expanding Repertoire of Plant Positive-Strand RNA Virus Proteases

Summerland Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Summerland, BC V0H 1Z0, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current Address: University of British Columbia Okanagan, Kelowna, BC V1V 1V7, Canada.
Received: 21 December 2018 / Revised: 11 January 2019 / Accepted: 12 January 2019 / Published: 15 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue CSV2018: The 2nd symposium of the Canadian Society for Virology (CSV))
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Many plant viruses express their proteins through a polyprotein strategy, requiring the acquisition of protease domains to regulate the release of functional mature proteins and/or intermediate polyproteins. Positive-strand RNA viruses constitute the vast majority of plant viruses and they are diverse in their genomic organization and protein expression strategies. Until recently, proteases encoded by positive-strand RNA viruses were described as belonging to two categories: (1) chymotrypsin-like cysteine and serine proteases and (2) papain-like cysteine protease. However, the functional characterization of plant virus cysteine and serine proteases has highlighted their diversity in terms of biological activities, cleavage site specificities, regulatory mechanisms, and three-dimensional structures. The recent discovery of a plant picorna-like virus glutamic protease with possible structural similarities with fungal and bacterial glutamic proteases also revealed new unexpected sources of protease domains. We discuss the variety of plant positive-strand RNA virus protease domains. We also highlight possible evolution scenarios of these viral proteases, including evidence for the exchange of protease domains amongst unrelated viruses. View Full-Text
Keywords: proteolytic processing; viral proteases; protease specificity; protease structure; virus evolution proteolytic processing; viral proteases; protease specificity; protease structure; virus evolution

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Mann, K.S.; Sanfaçon, H. Expanding Repertoire of Plant Positive-Strand RNA Virus Proteases. Viruses 2019, 11, 66.

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