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Virology. 1994 Jul;202(1):477-9.

RNA polymerase I-mediated expression of influenza viral RNA molecules.

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Institut für Mikrobiologie und Molekularbiologie, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Germany.


RNA polymerase I transcription has been used for expression of influenza vRNA molecules, with influenza hemagglutinin or other cDNAs precisely inserted between mouse rDNA promoter and terminator sequences. In in vitro studies generation of HA vRNA transcripts in high rates and correct formation of their 5' ends as well as their 3' ends has been achieved for such hybrid DNA templates. For in vivo expression studies, the HA coding region was replaced by chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT), also in vRNA antisense orientation, with both influenza terminal sequences beyond start and stop codons being retained on the resulting transcript. Following transfection with precisely constructed hybrid DNA templates and depending on infection with influenza virus, CAT activity could be demonstrated. Templates resulting in 3' extended vRNA molecules did not give this result. vRNA-CAT molecules were not only recognized by influenza viral RNA polymerase for synthesis of plus strand mRNAs, but also were packaged into progeny virus particles, as shown by CAT activity in infected cells after passaging of virus containing supernatants.

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