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EMBO J. 2002 Oct 1;21(19):5141-50.

Sendai virus trailer RNA binds TIAR, a cellular protein involved in virus-induced apoptosis.

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  • 1Department of Genetics and Microbiology, University of Geneva School of Medicine CMU, 9 Avenue de Champel, CH-1211 Geneva, Switzerland.


Sendai virus (SeV) leader (le) and trailer (tr) RNAs are short transcripts generated during abortive antigenome and genome synthesis, respectively. Recom binant SeV (rSeV) that express tr-like RNAs from the leader region are non-cytopathic and, moreover, prevent wild-type SeV from inducing apoptosis in mixed infections. These rSeV thus appear to have gained a function. Here we report that tr RNA binds to a cellular protein with many links to apoptosis (TIAR) via the AU-rich sequence 5' UUUUAAAUUUU. Duplication of this AU-rich sequence alone within the le RNA confers TIAR binding on this le* RNA and a non-cytopathic phenotype to these rSeV in cell culture. Transgenic overexpression of TIAR during SeV infection promotes apoptosis and reverses the anti-apoptotic effects of le* RNA expression. More over, TIAR overexpression and SeV infection act synergistically to induce apoptosis. These short viral RNAs may act by sequestering TIAR, a multivalent RNA recognition motif (RRM) family RNA-binding protein involved in SeV-induced apoptosis. In this view, tr RNA is not simply a by-product of abortive genome synthesis, but is also an antigenome transcript that modulates the cellular antiviral response.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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