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Dependence of minus-strand synthesis on complete genomic packaging in the double-stranded RNA bacteriophage phi 6



Dependence of minus-strand synthesis on complete genomic packaging in the double-stranded RNA bacteriophage phi 6



Journal of Virology 66(8): 5013-5017



Bacteriophage phi 6 has a segmented genome consisting of three pieces of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). The viral procapsid is the structure that packages plus strands, synthesizes the complementary negative strands to form dsRNA, and then transcribes dsRNA to form plus-strand message. The minus-strand synthesis of a particular genomic segment is dependent on prior packaging of the other segments. The 5' end of the plus strand is necessary and sufficient for packaging, while the normal 3' end is necessary for synthesis of the negative strand. We have now investigated the ability of truncated RNA segments which lack the normal 3' end of the molecules to stimulate the synthesis of minus strands of the other segments. Fragments missing the normal 3' ends were able to stimulate the minus-strand synthesis of intact heterologous segments. Minus-strand synthesis of one intact segment could be stimulated by the presence of two truncated nonreplicating segments. The 5' fragments of each single-stranded genomic segment can compete with homologous full-length single-stranded genomic segments in minus-strand synthesis reactions, suggesting that there is a specific binding site in the procapsid for each segment.

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Accession: 039764237

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PMID: 1629962


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