Mutations in the helicase-like domain of protein 1a alter the sites of RNA-RNA recombination in brome mosaic virus

Peter D. Nagy, Aleksandra Dzianott, Paul Ahlquist, Jozef J. Bujarski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


A system that uses engineered heteroduplexes to efficiently direct in vivo crossovers between brome mosaic virus (BMV) RNA1 and RNA3 (P. Nagy and J. Bujarski, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 90:6390-6394, 1993) has been used to explore the possible involvement of BMV 1a protein, an essential RNA replication factor, in RNA recombination. Relative to wild-type 1a, several viable amino acid insertion mutations in the helicase-like domain of BMV 1a protein affected the nature and distribution of crossover sites in RNA3-RNA1 recombinants. At 24°C, mutants PK19 and PK21 each increased the percentage of asymmetric crossovers, in which the RNA1 and RNA3 sites joined by recombination were not directly opposite each other on the engineered RNA3- RNA1 heteroduplex used to target recombination but rather were separated by 4 to 85 nucleotides. PK21 and another 1a mutant, PK14, also showed increases in the fraction of recombinants containing nontemplated U residues at the recombination junction. At 33°C, the highest temperature that permitted infections with PK19, which is temperature sensitive for RNA replication, the mean location of RNA1-RNA3 crossovers in recombinants recovered from PK19 infections was shifted by nearly 25 bp into the energetically less stable side of the RNA1-RNA3 heteroduplex. Thus, mutations in the putative helicase domain of the la protein can influence BMV RNA recombination. The results are discussed in relation to models for recombination by template switching during pausing of RNA replication at a heteroduplexed region in the template.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2547-2556
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


Dive into the research topics of 'Mutations in the helicase-like domain of protein 1a alter the sites of RNA-RNA recombination in brome mosaic virus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this