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A bulged stem-loop structure in the 3' untranslated region of the genome of the coronavirus mouse hepatitis virus is essential for replication



A bulged stem-loop structure in the 3' untranslated region of the genome of the coronavirus mouse hepatitis virus is essential for replication



Journal of Virology 71(10): 7567-7578



The 3' untranslated region (UTR) of the positive-sense RNA genome of the coronavirus mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) contains sequences that are necessary for the synthesis of negative-strand viral RNA as well as sequences that may be crucial for both genomic and subgenomic positive-strand RNA synthesis. We have found that the entire 3' UTR of MHV could be replaced by the 3' UTR of bovine coronavirus (BCV), which diverges overall by 31% in nucleotide sequence. This exchange between two viruses that are separated by a species barrier was carried out by targeted RNA recombination. Our results define regions of the two 3' UTRs that are functionally equivalent despite having substantial sequence substitutions, deletions, or insertions with respect to each other. More significantly, our attempts to generate an unallowed substitution of a particular portion of the BCV 3' UTR for the corresponding region of the MHV 3' UTR led to the discovery of a bulged stem-loop RNA secondary structure, adjacent to the stop codon of the nucleocapsid gene, that is essential for MHV viral RNA replication.

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Accession: 008023353

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PMID: 9311837


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