S4

o3

Outer capsid

p1/ji1C, c3

Outer capsid p1/ji1C, c3

Inner capsid

reoviruses which can have gene segments derived from either parent. The origin of individual gene fragments from reassortant clones can be determined by comparison of the pattern of dsRNA migration in polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The use of reassortant clones has allowed unique biological properties of particular serotypes to be mapped to individual reovirus genes and proteins. For example, by analyzing reassortant clones, the crl protein has been found to be the viral hemagglutinin as well as the target of serotype-specific neutralization antibodies.

The primary pathway for reovirus penetration of host cells involves receptor-mediated endocytosis, fusion with lysosomes and degradation of two of the outer capsid proteins (ct3 and pl/plC), which results in the formation of intermediate subviral particles (ISVPs). In the gastrointestinal tract, IS VPs can be directly formed in the lumen of the small intestine and this form of the virion appears to be required for adherence to specialized absorptive cells (M cells) overlying the organized lymphoid follicles (Peyer's patches) of the gut. Full activation of viral transcriptase activity requires further digestion of outer capsid proteins in the cell to form cytoplasmic viral cores. Newly synthesized positive strands are capped and are used as messenger RNA for protein synthesis as well as templates to synthesize complementary negative strands in nascent progeny viral particles.

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