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J Virol Methods. 2011 Jan;171(1):206-11. doi: 10.1016/j.jviromet.2010.10.026. Epub 2010 Nov 4.

Immunolocalization of Picornavirus RNA in infected cells with antibodies to Tyr-pUp, the covalent linkage unit between VPg and RNA.

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Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia.


The genomic RNA of picornaviruses is attached to a small protein (VPg) via a covalent bond between a tyrosine and a 5'-terminal uridine phosphate. The same structure is present in potyvirus and calicivirus families. VPgs play a key role in initiation of viral replication by acting as primers for RNA synthesis. The model compound [N(Ac),CO(NHMe)]Tyr-(5'P→O)Up-O-(CH(2))(6)NH(2) (mCLU), mimicking this 'covalent linkage unit' (CLU) and containing Tyr-pUp was synthesized in solution following the phosphoramidite scheme and used to raise antibodies for studying picornavirus infection. The antibodies recognized CLU-containing mengovirus RNA and showed minimal cross-reactivity with RNAs lacking CLU. Immunofluorescence staining of cells infected with a human rhinovirus demonstrated co-localization of the signals from anti-mCLU and from anti-VPg antibodies. Efficient synthesis of mCLU and anti-mCLU antibodies might be of great utility for investigating viral replication and identifying yet unknown viral and cellular CLU-containing RNA-protein complexes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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