In vivo and in vitro characterization of an RNA replication enhancer in a satellite RNA associated with Turnip crinkle virus

Peter D. Nagy, Judit Pogany, Anne E. Simon

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30 Scopus citations


RNA replication enhancers are cis-acting elements that can stimulate replication or transcription of RNA viruses: Turnip crinkle virus (TCV) and satC, a parasitic RNA associated with TCV infections, contain stem-loop structures that are RNA replication enhancers (P. Nagy, J. Pogany, and A. E. Simon, EMBO J. 1999, 18, 5653-5665). We have found that replacement of 28 nt of the satC enhancer, termed the motif1-hairpin, with 28 randomized bases reduced satC accumulation 8-to 13-fold in Arabidopsis thaliana protoplasts. Deletion of single-stranded flanking sequences at either side of the hairpin also affected RNA accumulation with combined alterations at both sides of the hairpin showing the most detrimental effect in protoplasts. In vitro analysis with a partially purified TCV RdRp preparation demonstrated that the motif1-hairpin in its minus-sense orientation was able to stimulate RNA synthesis from the satC hairpin promoter (located at the 3′ end of plus strands) by almost twofold. This level of RNA synthesis stimulation is ∼fivefold lower than that observed with a linear promoter, suggesting that a highly stable hairpin promoter is less responsive to the presence of the motif1-hairpin enhancer than a linear promoter. The motif1-hairpin in its plus-sense orientation was only 60% as active in enhancing transcription from the hairpin promoter. Since the motif1-hairpin is a hotspot for RNA recombination during plus-strand synthesis and since satC promoters located on the minus-strand are all short linear sequences, these findings support the hypothesis that the motif1-hairpin is primarily involved in enhancing plus-strand synthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-324
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 30 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by National Science Foundation Grants MCB-9630191 and MCB-9728277 to A.E.S.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology


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