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J Gen Virol. 1993 Oct;74 ( Pt 10):2293-7.

Non-viral sequences at the 5' ends of Dugbe nairovirus S mRNAs.

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Institute of Virology, University of Glasgow, U.K.


Analyses of the mRNA transcription processes of viruses in four genera (Bunyavirus, Hantavirus, Phlebovirus and Tospovirus) of the family Bunyaviridae have revealed a common mechanism of initiation using host-derived primers, known as cap-snatching. To provide similar information on the fifth genus in the family, the 5' ends of Dugbe nairovirus S mRNA species were specifically cloned and sequenced. This revealed the presence of non-viral heterogeneous sequences, five to 16 nucleotides in length (average of 10 nucleotides) at the 5' ends, confirming that cap-snatching to prime mRNA synthesis is a familial characteristic of the Bunyaviridae. Inspection of the sequences in the primers on nairovirus, bunyavirus and phlebovirus mRNAs suggests that in some cases polymerase slippage occurs shortly after initiation, resulting in a partial reiteration of the 5'-terminal nucleotides of the viral RNA.

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