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Spontaneous Occurrence of Early Region 1A Reiteration Mutants of Type 5 Adenovirus in Persistently Infected Human T-Lymphocytes

By Qingquan Tang, Ulla Lundholm-Beauchamp and Harold S. Ginsberg


AbstractMutants of type 5 adenovirus (Ad5) with reiterated DNA sequences in the E1a region appeared in a human T-lymphocyte cell line, Molt-4, persistently infected with H5sub304, a deletion/substitution mutant that has a wild-type phenotype in viral replication. Endonuclease analyses and DNA sequencing revealed DNA reiteration in each mutant. In the four representative mutants investigated, the DNA reiterations all started within a six-base-pair consensus sequence, G(or C)CTGTG, located in the second exon of the E1a region (at nt 1333, 1367, or 1419). There was not any DNA homology between the breakpoints in the second exon and the inserting sequences (starting at nt 532, 710, or 792). Northern analyses suggested that the reiterated splicing sites of the representative mutants were all used in RNA splicing, and the closest donor and recipient joints were used most frequently. These observations imply that during persistent infection Ad5 underwent spontaneous mutations by sequence-specific breakage and nonhomologous end–end joining recombination events. These E1a reiteration mutants could be propagated in HeLa, A549, and KB cells; they were genetically stable; and they killed CREF cells at a strikingly high frequency. Preliminary observations tend to correlate this CREF cell killing with the accumulation of the early viral proteins and/or viral DNA in the infected cells. This degree of cell damage was not observed in Ad5wt or H5sub304 infection of CREF cells. The observed E1a reiterations provide a model to gain insight into understanding the evolutionary events of some, if not all, adenovirus types during many years of symbiotic, persistent relationship in human tonsils and adenoids and possibly other lymphoid organs

Publisher: Academic Press.
Year: 1997
DOI identifier: 10.1006/viro.1997.8482
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