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J Virol. May 1987; 61(5): 1478–1487.
PMCID: PMC254126

Construction of viable deletion and insertion mutants of the Sabin strain of type 1 poliovirus: function of the 5' noncoding sequence in viral replication.

Abstract

A number of deletion and insertion sequences were introduced into the 5' noncoding sequence (742 nucleotides long) of the genome of the Sabin strain of type 1 poliovirus by using an infectious cDNA clone of the virus strain. The genomes of all three poliovirus serotypes contained highly homologous sequences (nucleotide positions 509 to 639) as well as highly variable sequences (positions 640 to 742) in the 5' noncoding region. The viability of mutant viruses was tested by transfecting mutant cDNA clones into African green monkey kidney cells and then estimating the plaque sizes displayed on the cells. The results suggested that the highly variable sequence next to the VP4 coding region did not play an important role, at least in the in vitro culture system used, that the loci of highly conserved nucleotide sequences were not always expected to be the genome regions essential for viral replication, that the sequence between positions 564 and 599 carried genetic information to maintain the efficiency of certain steps in viral replication, and that the sequence between positions 551 to 563 might play an essential role in viral replication. Four-base deletion or insertion mutations were introduced into relatively variable sequences in the genome region upstream of position 509. The results suggest that variable sequences do not always indicate that the corresponding genome regions are less important. Apparent revertants (large-plaque variants) were easily generated from one of the viable mutants with the small-plaque phenotype. The determination of nucleotide sequences of the revertant genomes revealed the second mutation site. The results suggested that the different loci at around positions 200 and 500 might specifically interact with each other. This interaction may result in the formation of a functional structure that influences the efficiency of certain steps in the viral replication.

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Selected References

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