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Virus Res. 1994 Jan;31(1):109-21.

Expression strategy of the M genome segment of Hantaan virus.

Author information

1
Virology Division, United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD 21702-5011.

Abstract

The medium (M) genome segment of Hantaan virus encodes the envelope glycoproteins, G1 and G2, in a continuous open reading frame with a gene order of 5'-G1-G2-3' with respect to the virus-complementary sense RNA. Because potential translation initiation codons and amino acids constituting typical signal sequences precede both the G1 and G2 genes, we sought to determine if G1 and G2 can be expressed independently. To investigate translational requirements for G1 and G2, we constructed M segment genes in which portions of the coding information were mutated or deleted, and transiently expressed these genes in eukaryotic cells by using a vaccinia virus/T7 RNA polymerase system. We found that G2 expression can occur by ribosomal access to the translation initiation codon preceding the G2 signal sequence (nucleotides 1934-1936), but that other upstream AUG codons cannot be used as efficiently. The presence of this codon, however, was not required for G2 expression because changing nucleotides 1934-1936 to CUG, GCG or AUG did not abrogate expression of G2. We also found that leaky ribosomal scanning, rather than internal initiation of translation was the most likely explanation for the observed independent translational initiation of G2, but that not all upstream, in-frame AUGs could serve as initiator codons. To assess the requirement for a continuous open reading frame for G1 and G2 expression, we expressed a gene which had G1 and G2 coding information in different reading frames. Although G1 was expressed at apparently normal levels, little or no G2 was expressed. In contrast, only G2 was expressed from a gene in which the carboxy-terminal G1 coding information was deleted and the remaining, truncated G1 was placed out of frame with respect to G2. These data suggest that reinitiation of translation may occur under some, but not all, circumstances when the polyprotein coding information is perturbed. Our results are consistent with biogenesis of G1 and G2 primarily or entirely according to the ribosomal scanning model.

PMID:
8165863
DOI:
10.1016/0168-1702(94)90074-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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