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Virology. 1994 Aug 15;203(1):90-100.

Geminivirus replication origins have a group-specific organization of iterative elements: a model for replication.

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Departamento de Ingeniería Genética, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del IPN, Unidad Irapuato, Guanajuato, Mexico.


A phylogenetic and structural analysis of the intergenic region of 22 dicot-infecting and 8 monocot-infecting geminiviruses was carried out. The analysis allowed the identification of iterative sequence motifs 8-12 nucleotides in length, whose organization (number, orientation, and spacing) is highly conserved within each of the three major lineages of dicot-geminiviruses, according to the phylogeny derived from the amino acid sequences of the replication-associated protein (AL1). The iterated elements differ in sequence even between closely related viruses, and are found in the vicinity of the putative TATA box of the AL1 gene in all dicot-infecting geminiviruses. Analogous elements were identified also in monocot-infecting geminiviruses, but the arrangement was different, since one of the iterative sequences is part of the conserved hairpin structure essential for replication of all the members of this viral family. We propose here that the iterated sequences are the specific binding sites of the geminiviral replication-associated proteins and show that the hypothesis is in agreement with the experimental data available to date. Additionally, a model of geminivirus replication that involves the participation of host transcription factors in the process is presented.

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