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Virology. 1991 Oct;184(2):595-608.

Coliphage Q beta RNA replication: RNA catalytic for single-strand release.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Lederle Laboratories, Pearl River, New York 10965.


We have generated 14 recombinant RNA templates for Q beta replicase, each having either an exogenous inverted repeat sequence or a sequence with no repeat. These templates were used to initiate in vitro replication by Q beta replicase in amounts that saturated the enzyme. We observed that replication rates for RNAs that putatively contained secondary structures in the recombinant sequences ranged from 33 to 69% that of a wild-type MDV-1 RNA control, regardless of the size of the inserted hairpin. Moreover, most of the newly synthesized RNA was present as single strands. Alternatively, RNAs that contained exogenous sequences not expected to form secondary structures exhibited replication rates less than 25% that of MDV-1. In each case, the reaction rate was correlated with the length of the insertion, and the majority of product RNA consisted of duplexed molecules (complementary plus and minus strands hybridized together). When these same recombinant RNAs were used in reactions in which the molar amount of RNA template was 10(6)-10(7) times lower than that of the replicase, only those that putatively contained secondary structures survived in the replication reaction. Our results are consistent with the theory that hairpin structure formation during RNA synthesis by Q beta replicase directly influences the regeneration of single-stranded RNA products.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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