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EMBO J. 1990 Jun;9(6):2017-22.

A stuttering model for paramyxovirus P mRNA editing.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Geneva School of Medicine, Switzerland.


Paramyxovirus P genes are transcribed into two mRNAs which differ from each other by either one (measles and Sendai virus) or two (SV5 and mumps virus) G insertions, and which code for either the P or V proteins. The G insertions always occur within a short run of Gs, and a stuttering mechanism for the insertions has been suggested in which the viral polymerase reiteratively copies a template C residue during mRNA synthesis. Support for this mechanism was obtained by varying the reaction conditions during Sendai virus mRNA synthesis in vitro. A stuttering model is proposed which accounts for how the ratio of inserted to uninserted mRNAs is controlled, and why some paramyxoviruses insert one G and others two Gs when insertions occur.

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