Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Virol. 2004 Nov;78(21):11751-7.

Translation of duck hepatitis B virus reverse transcriptase by ribosomal shunting.

Author information

  • 1Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, St. Louis University School of Medicine, 1402 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63104, USA.


The duck hepatitis B virus (DHBV) polymerase (P) is translated by de novo initiation from a downstream open reading frame (ORF) that partially overlaps the core (C) ORF on the bicistronic pregenomic RNA (pgRNA). The DHBV P AUG is in a poor context for translational initiation and is preceded by 14 AUGs that could intercept scanning ribosomes, yet P translation is unanticipatedly rapid. Therefore, we assessed C and P translation in the context of the pgRNA. Mutating the upstream C ORF revealed that P translation was inversely related to C translation, primarily due to occlusion of P translation by ribosomes translating C. Translation of the pgRNA was found to be cap dependent, because inserting a stem-loop (BamHI-SL) that blocked >90% of scanning ribosomes at the 5' end of the pgRNA greatly inhibited C and P synthesis. Neither mutating AUGs between the C and P start sites in contexts similar to that of the P AUG nor blocking ribosomal scanning by inserting the BamHI-SL between the C and P start codons greatly altered P translation, indicating that most ribosomes that translate P do not scan through these sequences. Finally, optimizing the P AUG context did not increase P translation. Therefore, the majority of the ribosomes that translate P are shunted from a donor region near the 5' end of the pgRNA to an acceptor site at or near the P AUG, and the shunt acceptor sequences may augment initiation at the P AUG.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk