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ABSTRACT As nonenveloped viruses, the aquareoviruses and orthoreoviruses are unusual in their ability to induce cell-cell fusion and syncytium formation. While an extraordinary family of fusion-associated small transmembrane (FAST) proteins is responsible for orthoreovirus syncytiogenesis, the basis for aquareovirus-induced syncytiogenesis is unknown. We now report that the S7 genome segment of an Atlantic salmon reovirus is polycistronic and uses a noncanonical CUG translation start codon to produce a 22-kDa integral membrane protein responsible for syncytiogenesis. The aquareovirus p22 protein represents a fourth distinct member of the FAST family with a unique repertoire and arrangement of structural motifs.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Virology


American Society for Microbiology

Publication Date





5951 - 5955