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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Feb 20;93(4):1412-7.

Poliovirus chimeras replicating under the translational control of genetic elements of hepatitis C virus reveal unusual properties of the internal ribosomal entry site of hepatitis C virus.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, State University of New York at Stony Brook 11794-5222, USA.

Abstract

Chimeric genomes of poliovirus (PV) have been constructed in which the cognate internal ribosomal entry site (IRES) element was replaced by genetic elements of hepatitis C virus (HCV). Replacement of PV IRES with nt 9-332 of the genotype Ib HCV genome, a sequence comprising all but the first eight residues of the 5' nontranslated region (5'NTR) of HCV, resulted in a lethal phenotype. Addition of 366 nt of the HCV core-encoding sequence downstream of the HCV 5'NTR yielded a viable PV/HCV chimera, which expressed a stable, small-plaque phenotype. This chimeric genome encoded a truncated HCV core protein that was fused to the N terminus of the PV polyprotein via an engineered cleavage site for PV proteinase 3CPpro. Manipulation of the HCV core-encoding sequence of this viable chimera by deletion and frameshift yielded results suggesting that the 5'-proximal sequences of the HCV open reading frame were essential for viability of the chimera and that the N-terminal basic region of the HCV core protein is required for efficient replication of the chimeric virus. These data suggest that the bona fide HCV IRES includes genetic information mapping to the 5'NTR and sequences of the HCV open reading frame. PV chimeras replicating under translational control of genetic elements of HCV can serve to study HCV IRES function in vivo and to search for anti-HCV chemotherapeutic agents.

PMID:
8643645
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC39952
Free PMC Article
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