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J Virol. 1997 Mar;71(3):2157-62.

In vitro selection of packaging sites in a double-stranded RNA virus.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo, 14260, USA.


The Saccharomyces cerevisiae double-stranded RNA virus ScVL1 recognizes a small sequence in the viral plus strand for both packaging and replication. Viral particles will bind to this viral binding sequence (VBS) with high affinity in vitro. An in vitro selection procedure has been used to optimize binding, and the sequences isolated have been analyzed for packaging and replication in vivo. The selected sequence consists of a stem with a bulged A residue topped by a loop of several bases. Four residues of the 18 bases are absolutely conserved for tight binding. These all fall in regions that appear to be single stranded. Eight more residues have preferred identities, and six of these are in the stem. The VBS is similar to the R17 bacteriophage coat protein binding site. Packaging and replication require tight binding to viral particles.

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