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Virology. 2007 Jan 5;357(1):68-78. Epub 2006 Sep 7.

The human RNA polymerase II interacts with the terminal stem-loop regions of the hepatitis delta virus RNA genome.

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Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1H 8M5.


The hepatitis delta virus (HDV) is an RNA virus that depends on DNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RNAP) for its transcription and replication. While it is generally accepted that RNAP II is involved in HDV replication, its interaction with HDV RNA requires confirmation. A monoclonal antibody specific to the carboxy terminal domain of the largest subunit of RNAP II was used to establish the association of RNAP II with both polarities of HDV RNA in HeLa cells. Co-immunoprecipitations using HeLa nuclear extract revealed that RNAP II interacts with HDV-derived RNAs at sites located within the terminal stem-loop domains of both polarities of HDV RNA. Analysis of these regions revealed a strong selection to maintain a rod-like conformation and demonstrated several conserved features. These results provide the first direct evidence of an association between human RNAP II and HDV RNA and suggest two transcription start sites on both polarities of HDV RNA.

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