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FEBS Lett. 2002 Jan 30;511(1-3):79-84.

Mutational analysis of the apical region of domain II of the HCV IRES.

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Molecular Virology Laboratory, Hellenic Pasteur Institute, 127 Vassilisis Sofias Avenue, Athens 11521, Greece.


The hepatitis C virus internal ribosome entry site (IRES) binds directly to the 40S ribosomal subunit via domains III/IV while domain II induces conformational changes on the ribosome which have been implicated in the decoding process. Here, we performed an extensive mutational study within the apical portion of domain II in order to address the functional role of this region on translation. Our results showed that the conservation of most nucleotides in this region was only partially related to the IRES function. Notwithstanding, however, selected single point mutations within the apical loop had a deleterious effect on IRES activity.

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