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Open AccessFeature PaperReview

Chloroviruses Have a Sweet Tooth

Department of Plant Pathology and Nebraska Center for Virology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583-0900, USA
Department of Experimental Medicine and Center of Excellence for Biomedical Research, University of Genova Viale Benedetto XV/1, 16132 Genova, Italy
Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Napoli, Via Università 100, 80055 Portici, NA, Italy
Department of Biology, Nebraska Wesleyan University, Lincoln, NE 68504-2796, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2017, 9(4), 88;
Received: 17 March 2017 / Revised: 13 April 2017 / Accepted: 14 April 2017 / Published: 22 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses of Microbes)
PDF [1743 KB, uploaded 25 April 2017]


Chloroviruses are large double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) viruses that infect certain isolates of chlorella-like green algae. They contain up to approximately 400 protein-encoding genes and 16 transfer RNA (tRNA) genes. This review summarizes the unexpected finding that many of the chlorovirus genes encode proteins involved in manipulating carbohydrates. These include enzymes involved in making extracellular polysaccharides, such as hyaluronan and chitin, enzymes that make nucleotide sugars, such as GDP-L-fucose and GDP-D-rhamnose and enzymes involved in the synthesis of glycans attached to the virus major capsid proteins. This latter process differs from that of all other glycoprotein containing viruses that traditionally use the host endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi machinery to synthesize and transfer the glycans. View Full-Text
Keywords: chloroviruses; giant viruses; hyaluronan synthesis; chitin synthesis; nucleotide sugar synthesis; glycan synthesis; glycan structures; glycoproteins chloroviruses; giant viruses; hyaluronan synthesis; chitin synthesis; nucleotide sugar synthesis; glycan synthesis; glycan structures; glycoproteins

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Van Etten, J.L.; Agarkova, I.; Dunigan, D.D.; Tonetti, M.; De Castro, C.; Duncan, G.A. Chloroviruses Have a Sweet Tooth. Viruses 2017, 9, 88.

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