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J Virol. 2007 Oct;81(19):10540-9. Epub 2007 Jul 25.

Adenovirus virus-associated RNAII-derived small RNAs are efficiently incorporated into the rna-induced silencing complex and associate with polyribosomes.

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Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Uppsala Biomedical Center, Husargatan 3, S-751 23 Uppsala, Sweden.


Adenovirus type 5 encodes two highly structured short RNAs, the virus-associated (VA) RNAI and RNAII. Both are processed by Dicer into small RNAs that are incorporated into the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC). We show here, by cloning of small RNAs, that approximately 80% of Ago2-containing RISC immunopurified from late-infected cells is associated with VA RNA-derived small RNAs (mivaRNAs). Most surprisingly, VA RNAII, which is expressed at 20-fold lower levels compared to that of VA RNAI, appears to be the preferred substrate for Dicer and accounts for approximately 60% of all small RNAs in RISC. The mivaRNAs are derived from the 3' strand of the terminal stems of the VA RNAs, with the major fraction of VA RNAII starting at position 138. The small RNAs derived from VA RNAI were more heterogeneous in size, with the two predominant small RNAs starting at positions 137 and 138. Collectively, our results suggest that the mivaRNAs are efficiently used for RISC assembly in late-infected cells. Potentially, they function as miRNAs, regulating translation of cellular mRNAs. In support of this hypothesis, we detected a fraction of the VA RNAII-derived mivaRNAs on polyribosomes.

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