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J Virol. 1992 Jan;66(1):204-16.

Molecular cloning and characterization of the RNA packaging-defective retrovirus SE21Q1b.

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  • 1Division of Basic Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington 98104-2092.


The nonconditional RNA packaging mutant SE21Q1b contains cis- and trans-acting defects which cause cellular mRNA, rather than viral genomic RNA, to be nonspecifically packaged into SE21Q1b viral particles. Using genomic libraries of the c-SE21Q1b quail cell line, we have been able to construct a molecular clone of the SE21Q1b provirus. Upon transfection into primary quail embryo fibroblasts, the SE21Q1b molecular clone is able to recapitulate the nonspecific RNA packaging phenotype of the c-SE21Q1b cell line. The RNA packaging phenotypes displayed by several SE21Q1b/avian sarcoma-leukemia virus hybrid provirus constructs have further indicated that sequences responsible for the altered RNA packaging phenotype of SE21Q1b are localized in the left third of the SE21Q1b proviral genome. DNA sequence analysis of this region has revealed that the 5' SE21Q1b deletion has removed 179 bp from the SE21Q1b left long terminal repeat and leader regions. Several differences were detected at the carboxyl terminus of the deduced SE21Q1b nucleocapsid protein sequence in comparison with that of Rous sarcoma virus PR-C. Results of site-directed oligonucleotide mutagenesis experiments indicate, however, that the presence of these residues in the nucleocapsid protein alone is not responsible for the decreased RNA packaging specificity of SE21Q1b.

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