Downstream ribosomal entry for translation of coronavirus TGEV gene 3b.
Gene 3b (ORF 3b) in porcine transmissible gastroenteritis coronavirus (TGEV) encodes a putative nonstructural polypeptide of 27.7 kDa with unknown function that during translation in vitro is capable of becoming a glycosylated integral membrane protein of 31 kDa. In the virulent Miller strain of TGEV, ORF 3b is 5'-terminal on mRNA 3-1 and is presumably translated following 5' cap-dependent ribosomal entry. For three other strains of TGEV, the virulent British FS772/70 and Taiwanese TFI and avirulent Purdue-116, mRNA species 3-1 is not made and ORF 3b is present as a non-overlapping second ORF on mRNA 3. ORF 3b begins at base 432 on mRNA 3 in Purdue strain. In vitro expression of ORF 3b from Purdue mRNA 3-like transcripts did not fully conform to a predicted leaky scanning pattern, suggesting ribosomes might also be entering internally. With mRNA 3-like transcripts modified to carry large ORFs upstream of ORF 3a, it was demonstrated that ribosomes can reach ORF 3b by entering at a distant downstream site in a manner resembling ribosomal shunting. Deletion analysis failed to identify a postulated internal ribosomal entry structure (IRES) within ORF 3a. The results indicate that an internal entry mechanism, possibly in conjunction with leaky scanning, is used for the expression of ORF 3b from TGEV mRNA 3. One possible consequence of this feature is that ORF 3b might also be expressed from mRNAs 1 and 2.
J. B. O'Connor and David A. Brian. "Downstream ribosomal entry for translation of coronavirus TGEV gene 3b." Virology 269.1 (2000): 172-182.