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J Virol. 1992 Jun;66(6):3669-76.

Ribosomal frameshifting efficiency and gag/gag-pol ratio are critical for yeast M1 double-stranded RNA virus propagation.

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Section on the Genetics of Simple Eukaryotes, National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


About 1.9% of ribosomes translating the gag open reading frame of the yeast L-A double-stranded RNA virus positive strand undergo a -1 frameshift and continue translating in the pol open reading frame to make a 170-kDa gag-pol fusion protein. The importance of frameshifting efficiency for viral propagation was tested in a system where the M1 (killer toxin-encoding) satellite RNA is supported by a full-length L-A cDNA clone. Either increasing or decreasing the frameshift efficiency more than twofold by alterations in the slippery site disrupted viral propagation. A threefold increase caused by a chromosomal mutation, hsh1 (high shifter), had the same effect. Substituting a +1 ribosomal frameshift site from Ty1 with the correct efficiency also allowed support of M1 propagation. The normal -1 frameshift efficiency is similar to the observed molar ratio in viral particles of the 170-kDa gag-pol protein to the 70-kDa gag gene product, the major coat protein. The results are interpreted in terms of a packaging model for L-A.

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