Mutations in the retinoblastoma protein-binding LXCXE motif of rubella virus putative replicase affect virus replication. (1/1725)

The rubella virus (RV)-encoded protein NSP90, which contains the retinoblastoma protein (Rb)-binding motif LXCXE, interacts with Rb and RV replication is reduced in cells lacking Rb. Whether the LXCXE motif of RV NSP90 itself is essential for Rb binding and virus replication is not known. Therefore, in the present study, the functional role of this motif was investigated by site-directed mutagenesis in a plasmid from which infectious RV RNA can be produced. Three critical mutations in the motif, two substitutions at the conserved cysteine residue (C --> G and C --> R) and a deletion of the entire motif, were created. A cell-free translated NSP90 C terminus polypeptide containing the deletion did not bind to Rb and a polypeptide carrying the C --> R substitution had barely detectable binding affinity for Rb. Rb binding by the C --> G mutant was reduced significantly compared to that of wild-type protein. Correlating with the binding results, mutant viruses containing the LXRXE and LXGXE motifs had a reduction in replication to < 0.5% and 47% of the wild-type, respectively, while deletion of the motif was found to be lethal. By the first serial passage, replication of the LXRXE-carrying virus had increased from < 0.5% to 2% of the wild-type. Sequencing of the genome of this virus revealed a nucleotide change that altered the motif from LXRXE to LXSXE, which is a known Rb-binding motif in two protein phosphatase subunits. Thus, our results clearly demonstrate that the LXCXE motif is required for efficient RV replication.  (+info)

Characterization of the L gene and 5' trailer region of Ebola virus. (2/1725)

The nucleotide sequences of the L gene and 5' trailer region of Ebola virus strain Mayinga (subtype Zaire) have been determined, thus completing the sequence of the Ebola virus genome. The putative transcription start signal of the L gene was identical to the determined 5' terminus of the L mRNA (5' GAGGAAGAUUAA) and showed a high degree of similarity to the corresponding regions of other Ebola virus genes. The 3' end of the L mRNA terminated with 5' AUUAUAAAAAA, a sequence which is distinct from the proposed transcription termination signals of other genes. The 5' trailer sequence of the Ebola virus genomic RNA consisted of 676 nt and revealed a self-complementary sequence at the extreme end which may play an important role in virus replication. The L gene contained a single ORF encoding a polypeptide of 2212 aa. The deduced amino acid sequence showed identities of about 73 and 44% to the L proteins of Ebola virus strain Maleo (subtype Sudan) and Marburg virus, respectively. Sequence comparison studies of the Ebola virus L proteins with several corresponding proteins of other non-segmented, negative-strand RNA viruses, including Marburg viruses, confirmed a close relationship between filoviruses and members of the Paramyxovirinae. The presence of several conserved linear domains commonly found within L proteins of other members of the order Mononegavirales identified this protein as the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase of Ebola virus.  (+info)

A brome mosaic virus intergenic RNA3 replication signal functions with viral replication protein 1a to dramatically stabilize RNA in vivo. (3/1725)

Brome mosaic virus (BMV), a positive-strand RNA virus in the alphavirus-like superfamily, encodes two RNA replication proteins. The 1a protein has putative helicase and RNA-capping domains, whereas 2a contains a polymerase-like domain. Saccharomyces cerevisiae expressing 1a and 2a is capable of replicating a BMV RNA3 template produced by in vivo transcription of a DNA copy of RNA3. Although insufficient for RNA3 replication, the expression of 1a protein alone results in a dramatic and specific stabilization of the RNA3 template in yeast. As one step toward understanding 1a-induced stabilization of RNA3, the interactions involved, and its possible relation to RNA replication, we have identified the cis-acting sequences required for this effect. We find that 1a-induced stabilization is mediated by a 150- to 190-base segment of the RNA3 intergenic region corresponding to a previously identified enhancer of RNA3 replication. Moreover, this segment is sufficient to confer 1a-induced stability on a heterologous beta-globin RNA. Within this intergenic segment, partial deletions that inhibited 1a-induced stabilization in yeast expressing 1a alone resulted in parallel decreases in the levels of negative- and positive-strand RNA3 replication products in yeast expressing 1a and 2a. In particular, a small deletion encompassing a motif corresponding to the box B element of RNA polymerase III promoters dramatically reduced the ability of RNAs to respond to 1a or 1a and 2a. These and other findings suggest that 1a-induced stabilization likely reflects an early template selection step in BMV RNA replication.  (+info)

Molecular mapping of influenza virus RNA polymerase by site-specific antibodies. (4/1725)

Influenza virus RNA polymerase with the subunit structure PB1-PB2-PA is involved in both transcription and replication of the RNA genome, including the unique cap-I-dependent RNase activity. To map the important domains for RNA polymerization, cap-I-dependent RNase, and cap-I-binding activity, we generated site-specific antibodies against overlapping 150-amino-acid peptides that cover each entire subunit. Monospecific antibodies against each subunit inhibited RNA synthesis in vitro. Those against PB1 and PB2 inhibited the cap-I-dependent RNase activity, but those against PB2 alone slightly inhibited the cap-I-binding activity. Antibodies against the N-terminal amino acids 1-159 of PB2 that overlap the PB1-binding site on PB2 and the C-terminal amino acids 501-617 of PA that overlap the putative nucleotide-binding site and PB1-binding site on PA inhibited RNA polymerizing activity as well as monospecific antibodies. Those against the N-terminal (amino acids 1-159); the central region (amino acids 305-559) of PB2, where a part of the cap-binding domain predicted previously is localized; the N-terminal (amino acids 1-222) of PB1; and amino acids 301-517 and 601-716 of PA inhibited the cap-I-dependent RNase activity. The cap-binding domain on PB2 could be mapped in amino acids 402-559, where one of the cap-binding domains mapped previously overlapped.  (+info)

Genetic diversity of equine arteritis virus. (5/1725)

Equine arteritis viruses (EAV) from Europe and America were compared by phylogenetic analysis of 43 isolates obtained over four decades. An additional 22 virus sequences were retrieved from GenBank. Fragments of the glycoprotein G(L) and the replicase genes were amplified by RT-PCR, prior to sequencing and construction of phylogenetic trees. The trees revealed many distinctive lineages, consistent with prolonged diversification within geographically separated host populations. Two large groups and five subgroups were distinguished. Group I consisted mainly of viruses from North America, whilst group II consisted mainly of European isolates. In most instances, where the geographic origin of the viruses appeared to be at variance with the phylogenetically predicted relationships, the horses from which the viruses were recovered had been transported between Europe and America or vice versa. Analysis of the replicase gene revealed similar phylogenetic relationships although not all of the groups were as clearly defined. Virus strains CH1 (Switzerland, 1964) and S1 (Sweden, 1989) represented separate 'outgroups' based on analysis of both genomic regions. The results of this study confirm the value of the G(L) gene of EAV for estimating virus genetic diversity and as a useful tool for tracing routes by which EAV is spread. In addition, computer-assisted predictions of antigenic sites on the G(L) protein revealed considerable variability among the isolates, especially with respect to regions associated with neutralization domains.  (+info)

Proteolytic processing of tomato ringspot nepovirus 3C-like protease precursors: definition of the domains for the VPg, protease and putative RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. (6/1725)

Tomato ringspot nepovirus (TomRSV) RNA-1 encodes a putative NTP-binding protein (NTB), a putative viral genome-linked protein (VPg), a putative RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (Pol) and a serine-like protease (Pro), which have been suggested to be involved in viral RNA replication. Proteolytic processing of protease precursors containing these proteins was studied in Escherichia coli and in vitro. The TomRSV protease could cleave the precursor proteins and release the predicted mature proteins or intermediate precursors. Although processing was detected at all three predicted cleavage sites (NTB-VPg, VPg-Pro and Pro-Pol), processing at the VPg-Pro cleavage site was inefficient, resulting in accumulation of the VPg-Pro intermediate precursor in E. coli and in vitro. In addition, the presence of the VPg sequence in the precursor resulted in increased cleavage at the Pro-Pol cleavage site in E. coli and in vitro. Direct N-terminal sequencing of the genomic RNA-linked VPg, of the mature protease purified from E. coli extracts and of radiolabelled mature polymerase purified from in vitro translation products revealed the sequences of the NTB-VPg, VPg-Pro and Pro-Pol dipeptide cleavage sites to be Q/S, Q/G and Q/S, respectively. In vitro processing at the NTB-VPg and Pro-Pol cleavage sites was not detected upon mutation or deletion of the conserved glutamine at the -1 position of the cleavage site. These results are discussed in light of the cleavage site specificity of the TomRSV protease.  (+info)

New defective RNAs from citrus tristeza virus: evidence for a replicase-driven template switching mechanism in their generation. (7/1725)

Defective RNAs (D-RNAs) ranging in size from 1968 to 2759 nt were detected in four citrus tristeza virus (CTV) isolates by hybridization of electroblotted dsRNAs with two probes specific for the 5'- and 3'-terminal genomic regions. The RNAs that hybridized with both probes were eluted, cloned and sequenced. Comparison with the sequences of the corresponding genomic regions of the helper virus showed, in all cases, over 99% nucleotide identity and direct repeats of 4-5 nt flanking or in the vicinity of the junction sites. The presence of the repeats from two separate genome locations suggests a replicase-driven template switching mechanism for the generation of these CTV D-RNAs. Two of the CTV isolates that differed greatly in their pathogenicity contained an identical D-RNA, suggesting that it is unlikely that this D-RNA is involved in symptom modulation, which may be caused by another factor.  (+info)

Packaging and replication regulation revealed by chimeric genome segments of double-stranded RNA bacteriophage phi6. (8/1725)

Bacteriophage phi6 has a double-stranded RNA genome composed of three linear segments, L, M, and S. The innermost particle in the virion of phi6, like in the other dsRNA viruses, is an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase complex, which carries out all the functions needed for the replication of the viral genome. Empty polymerase complexes can package the single-stranded copies of the viral genome segments, replicate the packaged segments into double-stranded form (minus strand synthesis), and then produce new plus strands (transcripts) from the double-stranded RNA templates. The three viral genomic segments contain unique packaging signals at their 5' ends, and minus strand synthesis initiation is dependent on the sequence at the 3' end. Here we have constructed chimeric segments that have the packaging signal from one segment and the minus strand synthesis initiation signal from another segment. Using purified recombinant polymerase complexes and single-stranded/chimeric and original RNA segments, we have analyzed the packaging and replication regulation operating in in vitro conditions. We show that the 5' end of the L genome segment in single-stranded form is needed to switch from the packaging to the minus strand synthesis and the same sequence is required in double-stranded form to switch on plus strand synthesis. In addition we have constructed deletions to the M segment to analyze the possible regulatory role of the internal noncoding area of this segment.  (+info)