Mosaic Qbeta coats as a new presentation model. (57/58)

The new protein carrier was developed on the basis of recombinant RNA phage Qbeta capsid. C-terminal UGA extension of the short form of Qbeta coat, so-called A1 extension, served as a target for presentation of foreign peptides on the outer surface of mosaic Qbeta particles. In conditions of enhanced UGA suppression, the proportion of A1-extended to short coats in mosaic particles dropped from 48% to 14%, with an increase of the length of A1 extension. A model insertion, short preS1 epitope 31-DPAFR-35 of hepatitis B surface antigen, demonstrated superficial location on the mosaic Qbeta particles and ensured specific antigenicity and immunogenicity.  (+info)

A long-range interaction in Qbeta RNA that bridges the thousand nucleotides between the M-site and the 3' end is required for replication. (58/58)

The genome of the positive strand RNA bacteriophage Qbeta folds into a number of structural domains, defined by long-distance interactions. The RNA within each domain is ordered in arrays of three- and four-way junctions that confer rigidity to the chain. One such domain, RD2, is about 1,000-nt long and covers most of the replicase gene. Its downstream border is the 3' untranslated region, whereas upstream the major binding site for Qbeta replicase, the M-site, is located. Replication of Qbeta RNA has always been puzzling because the binding site for the enzyme lies some 1,500-nt away from the 3' terminus. We present evidence that the long-range interaction defining RD2 exists and positions the 3' terminus in the vicinity of the replicase binding site. The model is based on several observations. First, mutations destabilizing the long-range interaction are virtually lethal to the phage, whereas base pair substitutions have little effect. Secondly, in vitro analysis shows that destabilizing the long-range pairing abolishes replication of the plus strand. Thirdly, passaging of nearly inactive mutant phages results in the selection of second-site suppressor mutations that restore both long-range base pairing and replication. The data are interpreted to mean that the 3D organization of this part of Qbeta RNA is essential to its replication. We propose that, when replicase is bound to the internal recognition site, the 3' terminus of the template is juxtaposed to the enzyme's active site.  (+info)