A potassium channel protein encoded by chlorella virus PBCV-1

B. Plugge, S. Gazzarrini, M. Nelson, R. Cerana, J. L. Van Etten, C. Derst, D. DiFrancesco, A. Moroni, G. Thiel

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128 Scopus citations


The large chlorella virus PBCV-1, which contains double-stranded DNA (dsDNA), encodes a 94-codon open reading frame (ORF) that contains a motif resembling the signature sequence of the pore domain of potassium channel proteins. Phylogenetic analyses of the encoded protein, Kcv, indicate a previously unidentified type of potassium channel. The messenger RNA encoded by the ORF leads to functional expression of a potassium-selective conductance in Xenopus laevis oocytes. The channel blockers amantadine and barium, but not cesium, inhibit this conductance, in addition to virus plaque formation. Thus, PBCV-1 encodes the first known viral protein that functions as a potassium-selective channel and is essential in the virus life cycle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1641-1644
Number of pages4
Issue number5458
Publication statusPublished - Mar 3 2000


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Cite this

Plugge, B., Gazzarrini, S., Nelson, M., Cerana, R., Van Etten, J. L., Derst, C., ... Thiel, G. (2000). A potassium channel protein encoded by chlorella virus PBCV-1. Science, 287(5458), 1641-1644. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.287.5458.1641