The characterization of the function of conserved viral genes is central to developing a greater understanding of important aspects of viral replication or pathogenesis. A comparative genomic analysis of the iridoviral genomes identified 26 core genes conserved across the family Iridoviridae
. Three of those conserved genes have no defined function; these include the homologs of frog virus 3
(FV3) open reading frames (ORFs) 88R, 91R, and 94L. Conserved viral genes that have been previously identified are known to participate in a number of viral activities including: transcriptional regulation, DNA replication/repair/modification/processing, protein modification, and viral structural proteins. To begin to characterize the conserved FV3 ORFs 88R, 91R, and 94L, we cloned the genes and determined their intracellular localization. We demonstrated that 88R localizes to the cytoplasm of the cell while 91R localizes to the nucleus and 94L localizes to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER).
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