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J Virol. Sep 1987; 61(9): 2816–2822.
PMCID: PMC255791

Analysis of RNA synthesis of type 1 poliovirus by using an in vitro molecular genetic approach.

Abstract

Membranous crude replication complexes (CRC) were isolated from poliovirus-infected HeLa cells as recently described (N. Takeda, R.J. Kuhn, C.-F. Yang, T. Takegami, and E. Wimmer, J. Virol. 60:43-53, 1986). Viruses used to produce the CRC were poliovirus type 1 (Mahoney), [PV-1(M)], poliovirus type 1 (Sabin) [PV-1(S)], and four in vitro recombinants that were constructed from infectious cDNA clones. RNA synthesis in CRC was studied. No end-linked, full-length double-stranded poliovirus RNA was detected in CRC regardless of whether nonionic detergent (Nonidet P-40) was added prior to incubation. Synthesis of VPg-pU and VPg-pUpU, two nucleotidyl proteins presumed to be involved in the initiation of RNA synthesis, was slower at 30 degrees C in CRC induced by PV-1(S) than by PV-1(M). This observation was used to design a pulse-chase experiment whose result suggested that synthesis of VPg-pUpU occurred by uridylylation of VPg-pU. Synthesis of VPg-pU(pU) was thermosensitive in CRC induced by PV-1(S). With CRC of recombinant viruses, the thermosensitive block covaried to nucleotide substitutions in PV-1(S) that mapped to the virus-induced RNA polymerase 3Dpol. We conclude that plus-stranded RNA synthesis in CRC does not proceed via hairpin structures. The results of VPg-pU----VPg-pUpU synthesis are consistent with a model in which VPg-pU is the primer of RNA synthesis mediated by 3Dpol. The data suggest that uridylylation of VPg or a precursor thereof may be catalyzed by 3Dpol itself, a mechanism resembling events occurring in adenovirus DNA replication.

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