Send to

Choose Destination
J Mol Biol. 1984 Mar 5;173(3):325-40.

Structure of poliovirus replicative intermediate RNA. Electron microscope analysis of RNA cross-linked in vivo with psoralen derivative.


The structure of the poliovirus replicative intermediate RNA was examined by electron microscopy after cross-linking in vivo with 4'-aminomethyl-4,5',8-trimethylpsoralen. After purification from infected cells, undenatured RI appeared as a double-stranded backbone of genome length, with an average of three (and occasionally up to eight) nascent, single-stranded tails. After denaturation, however, only single strands of heterogeneous length were visualized, indicating that the RI in the cell contains little or no duplex structure, and thus nascent chains are only transiently hydrogen-bonded to their template over short regions. The double-stranded backbone of undenatured RI, observed previously by others and in these experiments, is due to collapse of complementary chains during the deproteinization and purification procedures. The effectiveness of the in vivo cross-linking procedure was demonstrated by the complete inhibition of viral RNA synthesis in treated cells and by direct binding of [3H]AMT to RI molecules in vivo. Mature polio virions are impermeable to AMT; however, growth of virus in cells incubated with AMT in the dark resulted in normal yields of virus particles containing RNA genomes, whose infectivity could be subsequently photo-inactivated. The frequency of AMT-induced cross-linking was determined by analyses of double-stranded poliovirus RNA (RF). Cross-linking in vitro followed by spreading for electron microscopy under denaturing conditions yielded bubbled duplex structures with a minimum of one interstrand cross-link per 80 base-pairs. RF cross-linked in vivo also showed extensive cross-linking, decreased about fivefold from the in vitro cross-linked value. Thus, the failure to detect cross-linked RI under these conditions indicates that extensive base-pairing does not exist in vivo.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center