The P1 cistron encodes the first and most variable part of the polyprotein of potyviruses. A site tolerant to a pentapeptide insertion at the N-terminus of Potato virus A P1 (Genome Res. 12, 584-594) was used to express heterologous proteins (insertions up to 783 nucleotides) with or without flanking new proteolytic sites. Aequorea victoria green fluorescent protein (GFP) accumulated to high levels when proteolyticatly released from P1 and showed strong fluorescence in leaves systemically infected with vector virus. Deletions in GFP and adjacent viral sequences emerged 2-4 weeks after infection, revealing putative recombination hot spots. The inserts in P1 diminished infectivity host-specifically, reduced virus accumulation in protoplasts and systemically infected leaves, alleviated symptoms and reduced accumulation of mRNA and HCpro in cis in a virus-free system. This heterologous protein expression site is the first within a protein-encoding cistron and the third in the genome of potyviruses. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Rajamäki, M-L., Kelloniemi, J., Alminaite, A., Kekarainen, T., Rabenstein, F., & Valkonen, J. (2005). A novel insertion site inside the potyvirus P1 cistron allows expression of heterologous proteins and suggests some P1 functions. Virology, 342, 88-101. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2005.07.019