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J Virol. 2010 May;84(9):4229-42. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02198-09. Epub 2010 Feb 17.

Mechanistic consequences of hnRNP C binding to both RNA termini of poliovirus negative-strand RNA intermediates.

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Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, School of Medicine, Med Sci B240, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA.


The poliovirus 3' noncoding region (3' NCR) is necessary for efficient virus replication. A poliovirus mutant, PVDelta3'NCR, with a deletion of the entire 3' NCR, yielded a virus that was capable of synthesizing viral RNA, albeit with a replication defect caused by deficient positive-strand RNA synthesis compared to wild-type virus. We detected multiple ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes in extracts from poliovirus-infected HeLa cells formed with a probe corresponding to the 5' end of poliovirus negative-strand RNA (the complement of the genomic 3' NCR), and the levels of these RNP complexes increased during the course of viral infection. Previous studies have identified RNP complexes formed with the 3' end of poliovirus negative-strand RNA, including one that contains a 36-kDa protein later identified as heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein C (hnRNP C). We report here that the 5' end of poliovirus negative-strand RNA is capable of interacting with endogenous hnRNP C, as well as with poliovirus nonstructural proteins. Further, we demonstrate that the addition of recombinant purified hnRNP C proteins can stimulate virus RNA synthesis in vitro and that depletion of hnRNP C proteins in cultured cells results in decreased virus yields and a correspondingly diminished accumulation of positive-strand RNAs. We propose that the association of hnRNP C with poliovirus negative-strand termini acts to stabilize or otherwise promote efficient positive-strand RNA synthesis.

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