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J Virol. 1995 Jun;69(6):3605-14.

RNA-protein interactions directed by the 3' end of human rhinovirus genomic RNA.

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Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, College of Medicine, University of California, Irvine 92717, USA.


The replication of a picornavirus genomic RNA is a template-specific process involving the recognition of viral RNAs as target replication templates for the membrane-bound viral replication initiation complex. The virus-encoded RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, 3Dpol, is a major component of the replication complex; however, when supplied with a primed template, 3Dpol is capable of copying polyadenylated RNAs which are not of viral origin. Therefore, there must be some other molecular mechanism to direct the specific assembly of the replication initiation complex at the 3' end of viral genomic RNAs, presumably involving cis-acting binding determinants within the 3' noncoding region (3' NCR). This report describes the use of an in vitro UV cross-linking assay to identify proteins which interact with the 3' NCR of human rhinovirus 14 RNA. A cellular protein(s) was identified in cytoplasmic extracts from human rhinovirus 14-infected cells which had a marked binding preference for RNAs containing the rhinovirus 3' NCR sequence. This protein(s) showed reduced cross-linking efficiency for a 3' NCR with an engineered deletion. Virus recovered from RNA transfections with in vitro transcribed RNA containing the same 3' NCR deletion demonstrated a defective replication phenotype in vivo. Cross-linking experiments with RNAs containing the poliovirus 3' NCR and cytoplasmic extracts from poliovirus-infected cells produced an RNA-protein complex with indistinguishable electrophoretic properties, suggesting that the appearance of the cellular protein(s) may be a common phenomenon of picornavirus infection. We suggest that the observed cellular protein(s) is sequestered or modified as a result of rhinovirus or poliovirus infection and is utilized in viral RNA replication, perhaps by binding to the 3' NCR as a prerequisite for replication complex assembly at the 3' end of the viral genomic RNA.

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