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Annu Rev Phytopathol. 1999;37:151-174.

FUNCTIONS OF THE 3'-UNTRANSLATED REGIONS OF POSITIVE STRAND RNA VIRAL GENOMES.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology and Center for Gene Research and Biotechnology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331-3804; e-mail: drehert@bcc.orst.edu

Abstract

Positive strand RNA viral genomes are unique in the viral world in serving a dual role as mRNA and replicon. Since the origin of the minus-strand RNA replication intermediate is at the 3'-end of the genome, the 3'-untranslated region (UTR) clearly plays a role in viral RNA replication. The messenger role of this same RNA likely places functional demands on the 3'-UTR to serve roles typical of cellular mRNAs, including the regulation of RNA stability and translation. Current understanding indicates varied roles for positive strand RNA viral 3'-UTRs, with the dominant roles differing between viruses. Three case studies are discussed: turnip yellow mosaic virus RNA, whose 3' tRNA mimicry is thought to negatively regulate minus strand synthesis; brome mosaic virus, whose 3'-UTR contains a unique promoter element directing minus strand synthesis; and tobacco mosaic virus, whose 3'-UTR contains an enhancer of translational expression.

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