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1.  The glutathione transferase of Nicotiana benthamiana NbGSTU4 plays a role in regulating the early replication of Bamboo mosaic virus 
The New Phytologist  2013;199(3):749-757.
Bamboo mosaic virus (BaMV) is a single-stranded positive-sense RNA virus. One of the plant glutathione S-transferase (GST) genes, NbGSTU4, responds as an upregulated gene in Nicotiana benthamiana post BaMV infection.In order to identify the role of NbGSTU4 in BaMV infection, the expression of NbGSTU4 was knocked down using a virus-induced gene silencing technique or was transiently expressed in N. benthamiana in BaMV inoculation.The results show a significant decrease in BaMV RNA accumulation when the expression level of NbGSTU4 is reduced; whereas the viral RNA accumulation increases when NbGSTU4 is transiently expressed. Furthermore, this study identified that the involvement of NbGSTU4 in viral RNA accumulation occurs by its participation in the viral early replication step. The findings show that the NbGSTU4 protein expressed from Escherichia coli can interact with the 3′ untranslated region (UTR) of the BaMV RNA in vitro in the presence of glutathione (GSH). The addition of GSH in the in vitro replication assay shows an enhancement of minus-strand but not plus-strand RNA synthesis.The results suggest that the plant GST protein plays a role in binding viral RNA and delivering GSH to the replication complex to create a reduced condition for BaMV minus-strand RNA synthesis.
PMCID: PMC3744755  PMID: 23701112
Bamboo mosaic virus (BaMV); glutathione (GSH); glutathione S-transferase (GST); in vitro RNA replication; redox; viral RNA replication; virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS)
2.  Nitrogen Deprivation Induces Lipid Droplet Accumulation and Alters Fatty Acid Metabolism in Symbiotic Dinoflagellates Isolated from Aiptasia pulchella 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:5777.
The stability of cnidarian-dinoflagellate (genus Symbiodinium spp.) endosymbioses depends on the regulation of nutrient transport between Symbiodinium populations and their hosts. Previously, we successfully induced the production of lipid droplets in the free-living cultured Symbiodinium (clade B) under the nitrogen-deprivation condition for 5 days. Therefore, the present study aimed at understanding the disruption of the endosymbiotic relationship between the cnidarians and dinoflagellates by nitrogen deprivation using Aiptasia pulchella as an example. Transmission electron micrographs revealed the formation of lipid droplets induced by nitrogen deprivation, and the lipid analyses further showed that polyunsaturated fatty acids were drastically enriched in Symbiodinium after 30 days of nitrogen deprivation, although these were unaffected after 5 days of nitrogen starvation. The present study also suggested that the host provided nitrogen to the symbiotic cells during short-term environmental stress. However, the relationship started to deteriorate after 30 days. These findings provide a more detailed understanding of the mechanisms of the symbiotic relationship between the symbiotic dinoflagellates in terms of the nitrogen source, which might provide more information for the explanation of the regulatory mechanism underlying endosymbiotic associations.
PMCID: PMC4105741  PMID: 25047647
3.  The Untranslated Regions of Classic Swine Fever Virus RNA Trigger Apoptosis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e88863.
Classical swine fever virus (CSFV) causes a broad range of disease in pigs, from acute symptoms including high fever and hemorrhages, to chronic disease or unapparent infection, depending on the virus strain. CSFV belongs to the genus Pestivirus of the family Flaviviridae. It carries a single-stranded positive-sense RNA genome. An internal ribosomal entry site (IRES) in the 5′ untranslated region (UTR) drives the translation of a single open reading frame encoding a 3898 amino acid long polypeptide chain. The open reading frame is followed by a 3′ UTR comprising four highly structured stem-loops. In the present study, a synthetic RNA composed of the 5′ and 3′ UTRs of the CSFV genome devoid of any viral coding sequence and separated by a luciferase gene cassette (designated 5′UTR-Luc-3′UTR) triggered apoptotic cell death as early as 4 h post-transfection. The apoptosis was measured by DNA laddering analysis, TUNEL assay, annexin-V binding determined by flow cytometry, and by analysis of caspase activation. Contrasting with this, only trace DNA laddering was observed in cells transfected with the individual 5′ or 3′ UTR RNA; even when the 5′ UTR and 3′ UTR were co-transfected as separate RNA molecules, DNA laddering did not reach the level induced by the chimeric 5′UTR-Luc-3′UTR RNA. Interestingly, RNA composed of the 5′UTR and of stem-loop I of the 3′UTR triggered much stronger apoptosis than the 5′ or 3′UTR alone. These results indicate that the 5′ and 3′ UTRs act together in cis induce apoptosis. We furthered obtained evidence that the UTR-mediated apoptosis required double-stranded RNA and involved translation shutoff possibly through activation of PKR.
PMCID: PMC3923050  PMID: 24533157
4.  Maintaining the structural integrity of the bamboo mosaic virus 3′ untranslated region is necessary for retaining the catalytic constant for minus-strand RNA synthesis 
Virology Journal  2013;10:208.
Bamboo mosaic virus (BaMV) and the Potato virus X (PVX) are members of the genus Potexvirus and have a single-stranded positive-sense RNA genome. The 3′-untranslated region (UTR) of the BaMV RNA genome was mapped structurally into ABC (a cloverleaf-like), D (a stem-loop), and E (pseudoknot) domains. The BaMV replicase complex that was isolated from the infected plants was able to recognize the 3′ UTR of PVX RNA to initiate minus-strand RNA synthesis in vitro.
To investigate whether the 3′ UTR of PVX RNA is also compatible with BaMV replicase in vivo, we constructed chimera mutants using a BaMV backbone containing the PVX 3′ UTR, which was inserted in or used to replace the various domains in the 3′ UTR of BaMV. None of the mutants, except for the mutant with the PVX 3′ UTR inserted upstream of the BaMV 3′ UTR, exhibited a detectable accumulation of viral RNA in Nicotiana benthamiana plants. The in vitro BaMV RdRp replication assay demonstrated that the RNA products were generated by the short RNA transcripts, which were derived from the chimera mutants to various extents. Furthermore, the Vmax/KM of the BaMV 3′ UTR (rABCDE) was approximately three fold higher than rABCP, rP, and rDE in minus-strand RNA synthesis. These mutants failed to accumulate viral products in protoplasts and plants, but were adequately replicated in vitro.
Among the various studied BaMV/PVX chimera mutants, the BaMV-S/PABCDE that contained non-interrupted BaMV 3′ UTR was the only mutant that exhibited a wild-type level of viral product accumulation in protoplasts and plants. These results indicate that the continuity of the domains in the 3′ UTR of BaMV RNA was not interrupted and the domains were not replaced with the 3′ UTR of PVX RNA in vivo.
PMCID: PMC3720222  PMID: 23800142
5.  Hsp90 Interacts Specifically with Viral RNA and Differentially Regulates Replication Initiation of Bamboo mosaic virus and Associated Satellite RNA 
PLoS Pathogens  2012;8(5):e1002726.
Host factors play crucial roles in the replication of plus-strand RNA viruses. In this report, a heat shock protein 90 homologue of Nicotiana benthamiana, NbHsp90, was identified in association with partially purified replicase complexes from BaMV-infected tissue, and shown to specifically interact with the 3′ untranslated region (3′ UTR) of BaMV genomic RNA, but not with the 3′ UTR of BaMV-associated satellite RNA (satBaMV RNA) or that of genomic RNA of other viruses, such as Potato virus X (PVX) or Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV). Mutational analyses revealed that the interaction occurs between the middle domain of NbHsp90 and domain E of the BaMV 3′ UTR. The knockdown or inhibition of NbHsp90 suppressed BaMV infectivity, but not that of satBaMV RNA, PVX, or CMV in N. benthamiana. Time-course analysis further revealed that the inhibitory effect of 17-AAG is significant only during the immediate early stages of BaMV replication. Moreover, yeast two-hybrid and GST pull-down assays demonstrated the existence of an interaction between NbHsp90 and the BaMV RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. These results reveal a novel role for NbHsp90 in the selective enhancement of BaMV replication, most likely through direct interaction with the 3′ UTR of BaMV RNA during the initiation of BaMV RNA replication.
Author Summary
Heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) is a highly conserved molecular chaperone in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, and regulates diverse cellular processes through ensuring the correct folding of numerous client proteins. However, there are no reports of direct interactions between Hsp90 with viral RNA. Here, we report that a new member of the Hsp90 proteins of Nicotiana benthamiana, NbHsp90, specifically interacts with the 3′ UTR of Bamboo mosaic virus (BaMV) genomic RNA, but not with the 3′ UTR of BaMV-associated satellite RNA or that of other viruses. We further demonstrate that NbHsp90 specifically involves in the immediately early stage of BaMV RNA replication. NbHsp90 directly interacts with the BaMV 3′ UTR through the domain E, the key structural differences that distinguishes the BaMV 3′ UTR from the satBaMV 3′ UTR, which might contribute to NbHsp90's differential requirement for BaMV and satBaMV replication. Our work revealed a new role of Hsp90 in the interaction with RNA molecules, and demonstrated the differential requirement of Hsp90 in the replication of BaMV and satBaMV RNAs, which provide additional leverage for understanding the complex interactions between host, virus and its associated satellite RNA.
PMCID: PMC3359997  PMID: 22654666
6.  The 3′-Terminal Hexamer Sequence of Classical swine fever virus RNA Plays a Role in Negatively Regulating the IRES-Mediated Translation 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e33764.
The 3′ untranslated region (UTR) is usually involved in the switch of the translation and replication for a positive-sense RNA virus. To understand the 3′ UTR involved in an internal ribosome entry site (IRES)-mediated translation in Classical swine fever virus (CSFV), we first confirmed the predicted secondary structure (designated as SLI, SLII, SLIII, and SLIV) by enzymatic probing. Using a reporter assay in which the luciferase expression is under the control of CSFV 5′ and 3′ UTRs, we found that the 3′ UTR harbors the positive and negative regulatory elements for translational control. Unlike other stem loops, SLI acts as a repressor for expression of the reporter gene. The negative cis-acting element in SLI is further mapped to the very 3′-end hexamer CGGCCC sequence. Further, the CSFV IRES-mediated translation can be enhanced by the heterologous 3′-ends such as the poly(A) or the 3′ UTR of Hepatitis C virus (HCV). Interestingly, such an enhancement was repressed by flanking this hexamer to the end of poly(A) or HCV 3′ UTR. After sequence comparison and alignment, we have found that this hexamer sequence could hypothetically base pair with the sequence in the IRES IIId1, the 40 S ribosomal subunit binding site for the translational initiation, located at the 5′ UTR. In conclusion, we have found that the 3′-end terminal sequence can play a role in regulating the translation of CSFV.
PMCID: PMC3303849  PMID: 22432046
7.  Glyceraldehyde 3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Negatively Regulates the Replication of Bamboo Mosaic Virus and Its Associated Satellite RNA▿† 
Journal of Virology  2011;85(17):8829-8840.
The identification of cellular proteins associated with virus replicase complexes is crucial to our understanding of virus-host interactions, influencing the host range, replication, and virulence of viruses. A previous in vitro study has demonstrated that partially purified Bamboo mosaic virus (BaMV) replicase complexes can be employed for the replication of both BaMV genomic and satellite BaMV (satBaMV) RNAs. In this study, we investigated the BaMV and satBaMV 3′ untranslated region (UTR) binding proteins associated with these replicase complexes. Two cellular proteins with molecular masses of ∼35 and ∼55 kDa were specifically cross-linked with RNA elements, whereupon the ∼35-kDa protein was identified as the glycolytic enzyme glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH). Gel mobility shift assays confirmed the direct interaction of GAPDH with the 3′ UTR sequences, and competition gel shift analysis revealed that GAPDH binds preferentially to the positive-strand BaMV and satBaMV RNAs over the negative-strand RNAs. It was observed that the GAPDH protein binds to the pseudoknot poly(A) tail of BaMV and stem-loop-C poly(A) tail of satBaMV 3′ UTR RNAs. It is important to note that knockdown of GAPDH in Nicotiana benthamiana enhances the accumulation of BaMV and satBaMV RNA; conversely, transient overexpression of GAPDH reduces the accumulation of BaMV and satBaMV RNA. The recombinant GAPDH principally inhibits the synthesis of negative-strand RNA in exogenous RdRp assays. These observations support the contention that cytosolic GAPDH participates in the negative regulation of BaMV and satBaMV RNA replication.
PMCID: PMC3165797  PMID: 21715476
8.  HuR binding to AU-rich elements present in the 3' untranslated region of Classical swine fever virus 
Virology Journal  2011;8:340.
Classical swine fever virus (CSFV) is the member of the genus Pestivirus under the family Flaviviridae. The 5' untranslated region (UTR) of CSFV contains the IRES, which is a highly structured element that recruits the translation machinery. The 3' UTR is usually the recognition site of the viral replicase to initiate minus-strand RNA synthesis. Adenosine-uridine rich elements (ARE) are instability determinants present in the 3' UTR of short-lived mRNAs. However, the presence of AREs in the 3' UTR of CSFV conserved in all known strains has never been reported. This study inspects a possible role of the ARE in the 3' UTR of CSFV.
Using RNA pull-down and LC/MS/MS assays, this study identified at least 32 possible host factors derived from the cytoplasmic extracts of PK-15 cells that bind to the CSFV 3' UTR, one of which is HuR. HuR is known to bind the AREs and protect the mRNA from degradation. Using recombinant GST-HuR, this study demonstrates that HuR binds to the ARE present in the 3' UTR of CSFV in vitro and that the binding ability is conserved in strains irrespective of virulence.
This study identified one of the CSFV 3' UTR binding proteins HuR is specifically binding to in the ARE region.
PMCID: PMC3144019  PMID: 21729330
9.  Identification of differentially expressed genes induced by Bamboo mosaic virus infection in Nicotiana benthamiana by cDNA-amplified fragment length polymorphism 
BMC Plant Biology  2010;10:286.
The genes of plants can be up- or down-regulated during viral infection to influence the replication of viruses. Identification of these differentially expressed genes could shed light on the defense systems employed by plants and the mechanisms involved in the adaption of viruses to plant cells. Differential gene expression in Nicotiana benthamiana plants in response to infection with Bamboo mosaic virus (BaMV) was revealed using cDNA-amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP).
Following inoculation with BaMV, N. benthamiana displayed differential gene expression in response to the infection. Isolation, cloning, and sequencing analysis using cDNA-AFLP furnished 90 cDNA fragments with eight pairs of selective primers. Fifteen randomly selected genes were used for a combined virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) knockdown experiment, using BaMV infection to investigate the roles played by these genes during viral infection, specifically addressing the means by which these genes influence the accumulation of BaMV protein. Nine of the 15 genes showed either a positive or a negative influence on the accumulation of BaMV protein. Six knockdown plants showed an increase in the accumulation of BaMV, suggesting that they played a role in the resistance to viral infection, while three plants showed a reduction in coat protein, indicating a positive influence on the accumulation of BaMV in plants. An interesting observation was that eight of the nine plants showing an increase in BaMV coat protein were associated with cell rescue, defense, death, aging, signal transduction, and energy production.
This study reports an efficient and straightforward method for the identification of host genes involved in viral infection. We succeeded in establishing a cDNA-AFLP system to help track changes in gene expression patterns in N. benthamiana plants when infected with BaMV. The combination of both DNA-AFLP and VIGS methodologies made it possible to screen a large number of genes and identify those associated with infections of plant viruses. In this report, 9 of the 15 analyzed genes exhibited either a positive or a negative influence on the accumulation of BaMV in N. benthamiana plants.
PMCID: PMC3024324  PMID: 21184690
10.  Suppression of Bamboo Mosaic Virus Accumulation by a Putative Methyltransferase in Nicotiana benthamiana▿  
Journal of Virology  2009;83(11):5796-5805.
Bamboo mosaic virus (BaMV) is a 6.4-kb positive-sense RNA virus belonging to the genus Potexvirus of the family Flexiviridae. The 155-kDa viral replicase, the product of ORF1, comprises an N-terminal S-adenosyl-l-methionine (AdoMet)-dependent guanylyltransferase, a nucleoside triphosphatase/RNA 5′-triphosphatase, and a C-terminal RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp). To search for cellular factors potentially involved in the regulation of replication and/or transcription of BaMV, the viral RdRp domain was targeted as bait to screen against a leaf cDNA library of Nicotiana benthamiana using a yeast two-hybrid system. A putative methyltransferase (PNbMTS1) of 617 amino acid residues without an established physiological function was identified. Cotransfection of N. benthamiana protoplasts with a BaMV infectious clone and the PNbMTS1-expressing plasmid showed a PNbMTS1 dosage-dependent inhibitory effect on the accumulation of BaMV coat protein. Deletion of the N-terminal 36 amino acids, deletion of a predicted signal peptide or transmembrane segment, or mutations in the putative AdoMet-binding motifs of PNbMTS1 abolished the inhibitory effect. In contrast, suppression of PNbMTS1 by virus-induced gene silencing in N. benthamiana increased accumulation of the viral coat protein as well as the viral genomic RNA. Collectively, PNbMTS1 may function as an innate defense protein against the accumulation of BaMV through an uncharacterized mechanism.
PMCID: PMC2681968  PMID: 19297487
11.  Chloroplast phosphoglycerate kinase, a gluconeogenetic enzyme, is required for efficient accumulation of Bamboo mosaic virus 
Nucleic Acids Research  2006;35(2):424-432.
The tertiary structure in the 3′-untranslated region (3′-UTR) of Bamboo mosaic virus (BaMV) RNA is known to be involved in minus-strand RNA synthesis. Proteins found in the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) fraction of BaMV-infected leaves interact with the radio labeled 3′-UTR probe in electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA). Results derived from the ultraviolet (UV) cross-linking competition assays suggested that two cellular factors, p43 and p51, interact specifically with the 3′-UTR of BaMV RNA. p43 and p51 associate with the poly(A) tail and the pseudoknot of the BaMV 3′-UTR, respectively. p51-containing extracts specifically down-regulated minus-strand RNA synthesis when added to in vitro RdRp assays. LC/MS/MS sequencing indicates that p43 is a chloroplast phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK). When the chloroplast PKG levels were knocked down in plants, using virus-induced gene silencing system, the accumulation level of BaMV coat protein was also reduced.
PMCID: PMC1802604  PMID: 17169994
12.  The AAUAAA Motif of Bamboo Mosaic Virus RNA Is Involved in Minus-Strand RNA Synthesis and Plus-Strand RNA Polyadenylation 
Journal of Virology  2005;79(23):14555-14561.
Bamboo mosaic virus (BaMV) has a single-stranded positive-sense RNA genome with a 5′-cap structure and a 3′ poly(A) tail. Deleting the internal loop that contains the putative polyadenylation signal (AAUAAA) in the 3′ untranslated region (UTR) of BaMV genomic RNA appeared to diminish coat protein accumulation to 2% (C. P. Cheng and C. H. Tsai, J. Mol. Biol. 288:555-565, 1999). To investigate the function of the AAUAAA motif, mutations were introduced into an infectious BaMV cDNA at each residue except the first nucleotide. After transfection of Nicotiana benthamiana protoplasts with RNA transcript, the accumulations of viral coat protein and RNAs were determined. Based on the results, three different categories could be deduced for the mutants. Category 1 includes two mutants expressing levels of the viral products similar to those of the wild-type virus. Six mutations in category 2 led to decreased to similar levels of both minus-strand and genomic RNAs. Category 3 includes the remaining seven mutations that also bring about decreases in both minus- and plus-strand RNA levels, with more significant effects on genomic RNA accumulation. Mutant transcripts from each category were used to infect N. benthamiana plants, from which viral particles were isolated. The genomic RNAs of mutants in category 3 were found to have shorter poly(A) tails. Taken together, the results suggest that the AAUAAA motif in the 3′ UTR of BaMV genomic RNA is involved not only in the formation of the poly(A) tail of the plus-strand RNA, but also in minus-strand RNA synthesis.
PMCID: PMC1287560  PMID: 16282455
13.  An atypical RNA pseudoknot stimulator and an upstream attenuation signal for −1 ribosomal frameshifting of SARS coronavirus 
Nucleic Acids Research  2005;33(13):4265-4275.
The −1 ribosomal frameshifting requires the existence of an in cis RNA slippery sequence and is promoted by a downstream stimulator RNA. An atypical RNA pseudoknot with an extra stem formed by complementary sequences within loop 2 of an H-type pseudoknot is characterized in the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS CoV) genome. This pseudoknot can serve as an efficient stimulator for −1 frameshifting in vitro. Mutational analysis of the extra stem suggests frameshift efficiency can be modulated via manipulation of the secondary structure within the loop 2 of an infectious bronchitis virus-type pseudoknot. More importantly, an upstream RNA sequence separated by a linker 5′ to the slippery site is also identified to be capable of modulating the −1 frameshift efficiency. RNA sequence containing this attenuation element can downregulate −1 frameshifting promoted by an atypical pseudoknot of SARS CoV and two other pseudoknot stimulators. Furthermore, frameshift efficiency can be reduced to half in the presence of the attenuation signal in vivo. Therefore, this in cis RNA attenuator represents a novel negative determinant of general importance for the regulation of −1 frameshift efficiency, and is thus a potential antiviral target.
PMCID: PMC1182165  PMID: 16055920
14.  Structural and Functional Analysis of the cis-Acting Elements Required for Plus-Strand RNA Synthesis of Bamboo Mosaic Virus 
Journal of Virology  2005;79(14):9046-9053.
Bamboo mosaic virus (BaMV) has a single-stranded positive-sense RNA genome. The secondary structure of the 3′-terminal sequence of the minus-strand RNA has been predicted by MFOLD and confirmed by enzymatic structural probing to consist of a large, stable stem-loop and a small, unstable stem-loop. To identify the promoter for plus-strand RNA synthesis in this region, transcripts of 39, 77, and 173 nucleotides (Ba-39, Ba-77, and Ba-173, respectively) derived from the 3′ terminus of the minus-strand RNA were examined by an in vitro RNA-dependent RNA polymerase assay for the ability to direct RNA synthesis. Ba-77 and Ba-39 appeared to direct the RNA synthesis efficiently, while Ba-173 failed. Ba-77/Δ5, with a deletion of the 3′-terminal UUUUC sequence in Ba-77, directed the RNA synthesis only to 7% that of Ba-77. However, Ba-77/Δ16 and Ba-77/Δ31, with longer deletions but preserving the terminal UUUUC sequence of Ba-77, restored the template activity to about 60% that of the wild type. Moreover, mutations that changed the sequence in the stem of the large stem-loop interfered with the efficiency of RNA synthesis and RNA accumulation in vivo. The mutant with an internal deletion in the region between the terminal UUUUC sequence and the large stem-loop reduced the viral RNA accumulation in protoplasts, but mutants with insertions did not. Taken together, these results suggest that three cis-acting elements in the 3′ end of the minus-strand RNA, namely, the terminal UUUUC sequence, the sequence in the large stem-loop, and the distance between these two regions, are involved in modulating the efficiency of BaMV plus-strand viral RNA synthesis.
PMCID: PMC1168787  PMID: 15994798
15.  The Synthesis of Minus-Strand RNA of Bamboo Mosaic Potexvirus Initiates from Multiple Sites within the Poly(A) Tail 
Journal of Virology  2002;76(12):6114-6120.
The 3′ terminus of the bamboo mosaic potexvirus (BaMV) contains a poly(A) tail, the 5′ portion of which participates in the formation of an RNA pseudoknot required for BaMV RNA replication. Recombinant RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) of BaMV binds to the pseudoknot poly(A) tail in gel mobility shift assays (C.-Y. Huang, Y.-L. Huang, M. Meng, Y.-H. Hsu, and C.-H. Tsai, J. Virol. 75:2818-2824, 2001). Approximately 20 nucleotides of the poly(A) tail adjacent to the 3′ untranslated region (UTR) are protected from diethylpyrocarbonate modification, suggesting that this region may be used to initiate minus-strand RNA synthesis. The 5′ terminus of the minus-strand RNA synthesized by the RdRp in vitro was examined using 5′ rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) and DNA sequencing. Minus-strand RNA synthesis was found to initiate from several positions within the poly(A) tail, with the highest frequency of initiation being from the 7th to the 10th adenylates counted from the 5′-most adenylate of the poly(A) tail. Sequence analyses of BaMV progeny RNAs recovered from Nicotiana benthamiana protoplasts which were inoculated with mutants containing a mutation at the 1st, 4th, 7th, or 16th position of the poly(A) tail suggested the existence of variable initiation sites, similar to those found in 5′ RACE experiments. We deduce that the initiation site for minus-strand RNA synthesis is not fixed at one position but resides opposite one of the 15 adenylates of the poly(A) tail immediately downstream of the 3′ UTR of BaMV genomic RNA.
PMCID: PMC136226  PMID: 12021344
16.  Sequences at the 3′ Untranslated Region of Bamboo Mosaic Potexvirus RNA Interact with the Viral RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase 
Journal of Virology  2001;75(6):2818-2824.
The 3′ untranslated region (UTR) of bamboo mosaic potexvirus (BaMV) genomic RNA was found to fold into a series of stem-loop structures including a pseudoknot structure. These structures were demonstrated to be important for viral RNA replication and were believed to be recognized by the replicase (C.-P. Cheng and C.-H. Tsai, J. Mol. Biol. 288:555–565, 1999). Electrophoretic mobility shift and competition assays have now been used to demonstrate that the Escherichia coli-expressed RNA-dependent RNA polymerase domain (Δ893) derived from BaMV open reading frame 1 could specifically bind to the 3′ UTR of BaMV RNA. No competition was observed when bovine liver tRNAs or poly(I)(C) double-stranded homopolymers were used as competitors, and the cucumber mosaic virus 3′ UTR was a less efficient competitor. Competition analysis with different regions of the BaMV 3′ UTR showed that Δ893 binds to at least two independent RNA binding sites, stem-loop D and the poly(A) tail. Footprinting analysis revealed that Δ893 could protect the sequences at loop D containing the potexviral conserved hexamer motif and part of the stem of domain D from chemical cleavage.
PMCID: PMC115907  PMID: 11222706
17.  Sufficient Length of a Poly(A) Tail for the Formation of a Potential Pseudoknot Is Required for Efficient Replication of Bamboo Mosaic Potexvirus RNA 
Journal of Virology  1999;73(4):2703-2709.
RNAs transcribed from a full-length infectious cDNA clone of the bamboo mosaic potexvirus (strain O) genome, pBaMV-O, were infectious to Nicotiana benthamiana plants. Mutant genomes in which the poly(A) tail is absent or replaced by a 3′ tRNA-like structure from turnip yellow mosaic virus RNA failed to amplify detectably in N. benthamiana protoplasts. No amplification was detected in protoplasts inoculated with transcripts containing 4, 7, or 10 adenylate residues at the 3′ end, whereas transcript inocula with 15 adenylate residues resulted in coat protein accumulation to a level 26% of that resulting from inoculation with transcripts with 25 adenylate residues (designated as wild type). Coat protein accumulation levels of 69 and 98% relative to wild type were observed after inoculation of protoplasts with transcripts bearing poly(A) tails 18 and 22 nucleotides long, respectively. The presence of a putative 3′ pseudoknot structure including at least 13 adenylate residues of the 3′-terminal poly(A) tail was supported by enzymatic and chemical structural analysis. The functional relevance of this putative pseudoknot was tested by mutations that affected basepairing within the pseudoknot. These results support the existence of functional 3′ pseudoknot that includes part of the 3′ poly(A) tail.
PMCID: PMC104026  PMID: 10074116
18.  Identification and Characterization of the Escherichia coli-Expressed RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase of Bamboo Mosaic Virus 
Journal of Virology  1998;72(12):10093-10099.
Bamboo mosaic virus (BaMV), a member of the potexvirus group, infects primarily members of the Bambusoideae. The open reading frame 1 (ORF1) of BaMV encodes a 155-kDa polypeptide that was postulated to be involved in the replication and the formation of cap structure at the 5′ end of the viral genome. To characterize the activities associated with the 155-kDa viral protein, it was expressed in Escherichia coli BL21(DE3) cells with thioredoxin, hexahistidine, and S · Tag fused consecutively at its amino terminus, and the fusion protein was purified by metal affinity chromatography. Several RNA fragments, prepared by in vitro transcription, were tested as substrates for the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) activity. Among them, the expressed fusion enzyme was able to generate a 32P-labeled RNA product when 3′-end RNA fragments of the positive strand or negative strand of BaMV were included in the assay mixture. Dot hybridization assay revealed that the reaction products are complementary to their RNA substrates. Taken together, the evidence suggests that the 155-kDa protein encoded by ORF1 of BaMV has an RdRp activity and should be involved in the replication of BaMV. Mutational analyses demonstrate the importance of the GDD motif in the polymerase activity, and deletion studies suggest that the polymerase activity resides in the carboxyl terminus of the 155-kDa viral protein.
PMCID: PMC110542  PMID: 9811749

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