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New Biol. 1990 Mar;2(3):255-64.

Specific high-affinity binding of host cell proteins to the 3' region of rubella virus RNA.

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Division of Biochemistry and Biophysics, CBER, Food and Drug Administration, Bethesda, MD 20892.


Replication of rubella virus is initiated at the 3' end of the genomic RNA. An inverted repeat sequence of 12 nucleotides that is capable of forming a stem-loop structure is located at the 3' end of the RNA, 59 nucleotides upstream from the poly (A) tail. We screened the 158-bp region of the 3' end of the virus, including the stem-loop structure, for its ability to bind to host-cell proteins. Specific high-affinity binding of three cytosolic proteins with relative molecular masses (Mr) of 61, 63 and 68 kD to the stem-loop structure was observed by UV-induced covalent crosslinking. Altering the stem structure by removal of specific bases abolished the binding interactions. The binding of the host proteins is greatly increased after infection and coincides with the appearance of negative strand RNA synthesis. The increase in binding is dependent on new protein synthesis. The amount of the 61-kD protein that binds varies in uninfected cells and is maximal in cells that are in the stationary phase of growth. All binding activity could be abrogated by alkaline phosphatase treatment of cell lysates. A possible role of these host proteins in the replication of rubella virus is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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