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J Virol. 1994 Jun;68(6):4092-6.

The influenza virus panhandle is involved in the initiation of transcription.

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Chemical Pathology Unit, Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford, United Kingdom.


The role of the influenza A virus panhandle structure formed from the 3'- and 5'-terminal nucleotides of virion RNA segments was studied in both an RNA polymerase binding assay and an in vitro transcription assay. Despite recent indications that promoter activity is simply a function of the 3'-terminal sequence of virion RNA, our results show that both 3'- and 5'-terminal sequences are involved in the initiation of transcription. We propose a new model for the initiation of transcription which has implications for the mechanisms by which influenza virus transcription, replication, and polyadenylation may be regulated in the infected cell.

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