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Virology. 1998 Jun 5;245(2):188-96.

Adenovirus VAI RNA antagonizes the RNA-editing activity of the ADAR adenosine deaminase.

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Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara 93106, USA.


The virus-associated VAI RNA of adenovirus is a small highly structured RNA that is required for the efficient translation of cellular and viral mRNAs at late times after infection. VAI RNA antagonizes the activation of the interferon-inducible RNA-dependent protein kinase, PKR, an important regulator of translation. The RNA-specific adenosine deaminase, ADAR, is an interferon-inducible RNA-editing enzyme that catalyzes the site-selective C-6 deamination of adenosine to inosine. ADAR possesses three copies of the highly conserved RNA-binding motif (dsRBM) that are similar to the two copies found in PKR, the enzyme in which the prototype dsRBM motif was discovered. We have examined the effect of VAI RNA on ADAR function. VAI RNA impairs the activity of ADAR deaminase. This inhibition can be observed in extracts prepared from interferon-treated human cells and from monkey COS cells in which wild-type recombinant ADAR was expressed. Analysis of wild-type and mutant forms of VA RNA suggests that the central domain is important in the antagonism of ADAR activity. These results suggest that VAI RNA may modulate viral and cellular gene expression by modulating RNA editing as well as mRNA translation.

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