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Virology. 1992 Jun;188(2):685-96.

Initiation of translation of human rhinovirus RNA: mapping the internal ribosome entry site.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.


In order to map the 3' boundary of the segments needed for translation initiation at the correct site on human rhinovirus 2, deletions were made from the 3' end of the viral 5'-untranslated region. These truncated viral segments were placed immediately upstream of a reporter gene, a derivative of the influenza virus NS cDNA, either as monocistronic constructs or as dicistronic constructs in which the upstream cistron was the Xenopus laevis cyclin B2 cDNA. In vitro transcripts of these clones were translated in the rabbit reticulocyte lysate system, with or without supplementation with crude HeLa cell initiation factors, or in a HeLa cell-free system. When the full-length viral 5'-untranslated region was present, the HeLa cell factors strongly stimulated the synthesis of the NS-related polypeptides, especially in the case of the dicistronic mRNAs. Deletions from the 3' end extending up to nt 562 had little effect on translation efficiency or the response to HeLa cell factors, but more extensive deletions resulted in the complete loss of response to these factors, an almost total inhibition of NS synthesis from dicistronic mRNAs, and a partial inhibition in the case of the monocistronic mRNAs. In the case of a deletion extending to nt 554, insertion of a 15 nucleotide residue linker failed to restore efficient translation initiation. We conclude that the essential sequences for internal initiation extend to a point located between nt 554 and 562, and that the ribosome entry site, defined as the most 5'-proximal point where the ribosome can bind in an initiation-competent manner, must lie within 6 residues on either side of nt 562, and certainly not further downstream than nt 568.

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