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Virology. 2002 Sep 1;300(2):304-15.

Transcriptional termination modulated by nucleotides outside the characterized gene end sequence of respiratory syncytial virus.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Alabama School of Medicine, Birmingham, Alabama 35294, USA.


The genes of respiratory syncytial (RS) virus are transcribed sequentially by the viral RNA polymerase from a single 3'-proximal promoter. Polyadenylation and termination are directed by a sequence at the end of each gene, after which the polymerase crosses an intergenic region and reinitiates at the start sequence of the next gene. The 10 viral genes have different gene end sequences and different termination efficiencies, which allow for regulation of gene expression, since termination of each gene is required for initiation of the downstream gene. RNA sequences within the previously characterized 13 nucleotide gene end, including a conserved sequence 3'-UCAAU-5' and a tract of U residues, are important for termination. In this study, two additional sequence elements outside of the 13 nucleotide gene end were found to modulate termination efficiency: the A residue upstream of the 3'-UCAAU-5' sequence, and the first nucleotide of the intergenic region when it follows a U(4) tract.

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