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J Virol 2005 Feb;79(4):2309-24

The topology of bulges in the long stem of the flavivirus 3' stem-loop is a major determinant of RNA replication competence.

Yu L, Markoff L

Markoff L, US FDA, CBER, Lab Vector Borne Virus Dis, Div Viral Prod,Off Vaccines Res & Review, Bldg 29A,Room 1B17,8800 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892 USA US FDA, CBER, Lab Vector Borne Virus Dis, Div Viral Prod,Off Vaccines Res & Review, Bethesda, MD 20892 USA


All flavivirus genomes contain a 3'terminal stem-loop secondary structure (3'SL) formed by the most downstream approximately 100 nucleotides (nt) of the viral RNA. The 3'SL is required for virus replication and has been shown to bind both virus-coded and cellular proteins. Results of the present study using an infectious DNA for WN virus strain 956 initially demonstrated that the dengue virus serotype 2 (DEN2) 3'SL nucleotide sequence could not substitute for that of the WN 3'SL to support WN genome replication. To determine what WN virus-specific 3'SL nucleotide sequences were required for WN virus replication, WN virus 3'SL nucleotide sequences were selectively deleted and replaced by analogous segments of the DEN2 3'SL nucleotide sequence such that the overall 3'SL secondary structure was not disrupted. Top and bottom portions of the WN virus 3'SL were defined according to previous studies (J. L. Blackwell and M. A. Brinton, J. Virol. 71:6433-6444, 1997; L. Zeng, L., B. Falgout, and L. Markoff, J. Virol. 72:7510-7522, 1998). A bulge in the top portion of the long stem of the WN 3'SL was essential for replication of mutant WN RNAs, and replication-defective RNAs failed to produce negative strands in transfected cells. Introduction of a second bulge into the bottom portion of the long stem of the wild-type WN 3'SL markedly enhanced the replication competence of WN virus in mosquito cells but had no effect on replication in mammalian cells. This second bulge was identified as a host cell-specific enhancer of flavivirus replication. Results suggested that bulges and their topological location within the long stem of the 3'SL are primary determinants of replication competence for flavivirus genomes.

Category: Journal Article, Peer
PubMed ID: #15681432
PubMed Central ID: #PMC546603
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Biologics
Entry Created: 2011-10-04 Entry Last Modified: 2012-08-29