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A 5'-proximal Stem-loop Structure of 5' Untranslated Region of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus Genome Is Key for Virus Replication

Author(s): Lu Jiaqi | Gao Fei | Wei Zuzhang | Liu Ping | Liu Changlong | Zheng Haihong | Li Yanhua | Lin Tao | Yuan Shishan

Journal: Virology Journal
ISSN 1743-422X

Volume: 8;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 172;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Abstract Background It has been well documented that the 5' untranslated region (5' UTR) of many positive-stranded RNA viruses contain key cis-acting regulatory sequences, as well as high-order structural elements. Little is known for such regulatory elements controlling porcine arterivirus replication. We investigated the roles of a conserved stem-loop 2 (SL2) that resides in the 5'UTR of the genome of a type II porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV). Results We provided genetic evidences demonstrating that 1) the SL2 in type II PRRSV 5' UTR, N-SL2, could be structurally and functionally substituted by its counterpart in type I PRRSV, E-SL2; 2) the functionality of N-SL2 was dependent upon the G-C rich stem structure, while the ternary-loop size was irrelevant to RNA synthesis; 3) serial deletions showed that the stem integrity of N-SL2 was crucial for subgenomic mRNA synthesis; and 4) when extensive base-pairs in the stem region was deleted, an alternative N-SL2-like structure with different sequence was utilized for virus replication. Conclusion Taken together, we concluded that the phylogenetically conserved SL2 in the 5' UTR was crucial for PRRSV virus replication, subgenomic mRNA synthesis in particular.
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