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Synthesis of (2'-5')oligoadenylate and activation of an endoribonuclease in interferon-treated HeLa cells infected with reovirus.

By T W Nilsen, P A Maroney and C Baglioni


Treatment with interferon protected HeLa cells from infection with reovirus. This virus apparently activated an antiviral mechanism that was detected by the presence of (2'-5')oligoadenylate [(2'-5')An] in intact cells. The (2'-5')An was previously shown to activate an endoribonuclease, RNase L. We measured (2'-5')An by a sensitive competition-binding assay in cells infected at different multiplicities and for different lengths of time. Nanomolar concentrations of (2'-5')An were detected in cells infected at a multiplicity of greater than 5 after 2 h of infection, the time at which the infecting virions were uncoated. The level of (2'-5')An increased up to 6 h postinfection but declined afterward. To establish whether viral mRNAs were cleaved by RNase L, we analyzed the RNA extracted from infected cells by a highly specific hybridization assay on Northern blots. Full-sized reovirus mRNAs were detected in control infected cells, but not in interferon-treated infected cells, at 6 h postinfection. At this time, a nuclease activity could be detected in these cells by demonstration of cleavage of rRNA, degradation of cellular mRNA, and polysome breakdown in the presence of emetine. Since this inhibitor freezes ribosomes, cleavage of mRNA between ribosomes could only be accounted for by an endonuclease, presumably RNase L

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1982
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:256937
Provided by: PubMed Central
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