The flavivirus-conserved penta-nucleotide in the 3′ stem-loop of the West Nile virus genome requires a specific sequence and structure for RNA synthesis, but not for viral translation

Mark Tilgner, Tia S. Deas, Pei Yong Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

73 Scopus citations

Abstract

A reporting replicon of West Nile virus (WN) was used to distinguish between the function of the 3′ untranslated region (UTR) in viral translation and RNA replication. Deletions of various regions of the 3′ UTR of the replicon did not significantly affect viral translation, but abolished RNA replication. A systematic mutagenesis showed that the flavivirus-conserved penta-nucleotide (5′-CACAG-3′ located at the top of the 3′ stem-loop of the genome) requires a specific sequence and structure for WN RNA synthesis, but not for viral translation. (i) Basepair structure and sequence at the 1st position of the penta-nucleotide are critical for RNA replication. (ii) The conserved nucleotides at the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th positions, but not at the 4th position of the penta-nucleotide, are essential for RNA synthesis. (iii) The nucleotide U (which is partially conserved in the genus Flavivirus) immediately downstream of the penta-nucleotide is not essential for viral replication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-386
Number of pages12
JournalVirology
Volume331
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 20 2005
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Flavivirus
  • RNA replication
  • Replicon
  • West Nile virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology

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