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Polyomavirus late leader region serves an essential spacer function necessary for viability and late gene expression.

By G R Adami and G G Carmichael


All three polyomavirus late mRNAs contain multiple tandem copies of the same nontranslated 57-nucleotide sequence, the late leader, at their 5' ends. We show here that a polyoma variant (ALM) lacking 48 central bases of the 57-base leader unit is nonviable by plaque assay and by a new method for testing virus viability, an immunofluorescence burst assay. ALM is, however, unaffected in early gene expression as measured both by indirect immunofluorescence of large T antigen and by transformation levels of rat F-111 cells. DNA replication in mouse cells is also as wild type, and the defect in ALM is complemented by an early-defective helper virus DNA. ALM does not make detectable levels of late viral proteins and is minimally 200-fold depressed in the accumulation of cytoplasmic polyadenylated late RNA. When the deleted leader sequence of ALM is replaced by a variety of procaryotic sequences, viability almost always returns. Some of the substituted leader variants produce plaques with the same apparent kinetics as wild-type viral DNA. The indication is that the sequence of the polyoma late leader is not important for late gene expression but that it has an essential spacer function on the RNA or DNA level. This spacer function is apparently necessary for late viral RNA transcription, processing, or stability

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1986
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:252927
Provided by: PubMed Central
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