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Efficient Translation of Distal Cistrons of a Polycistronic mRNA of a Plant Pararetrovirus Requires a Compatible Interaction between the mRNA 3′ End and the ProteinaceousTrans-Activator

By Herman K. Edskes, Jennifer M. Kiernan and Robert J. Shepherd

Abstract

AbstractCaulimoviruses, a type of plant pararetrovirus, employ a highly unusual mechanism to express the multiple cistrons of their pregenomic RNA. It involves translation of a polycistronic mRNA utilizingcis-acting viral RNA sequences and atrans-acting virus-encoded protein (P6). In addition to its role in polycistronic translation, the translationaltrans-activator protein P6 also activates its own expression from a monocistronic subgenomic RNA. UsingNicotiana edwardsoniicell suspension protoplasts, we analyzed the ability of P6 proteins from three different caulimoviruses to activate viral RNA-based reporter constructs.Cis-acting elements present in figwort mosaic caulimovirus (FMV) are functional not only in the presence of the cognate P6 activator protein, but also in the presence of the heterologous activators from cauliflower mosaic caulimovirus (CaMV) and peanut chlorotic streak caulimovirus (PClSV). However, when 3′cis-acting elements essential for efficient polycistronic expression of FMV are replaced by their counterparts from PClSV, reporter gene expression is only observed in the presence of PClSV P6. Derepression of monocistronic reporter constructs tailed with FMV or CaMV 3′ proximal sequences is less efficient in the presence of PClSV P6 than with either FMV or CaMV P6, but more efficient when the constructs contain a cognate PClSV 3′cis-element. Efficient expression of polycistronic and monocistronic caulimovirus mRNAs in plant cells thus requires compatible interactions between P6, a translationaltrans-activator, and its cognatecis-element at the 3′ end of the mRNA

Publisher: Academic Press.
Year: 1996
DOI identifier: 10.1006/viro.1996.0565
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