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Minus-strand copies of replicating coronavirus mRNAs contain antileaders

Minus-strand copies of replicating coronavirus mRNAs contain antileaders

Journal of Virology 65(1): 320-325

The 5' leader sequence on mRNAs of the porcine transmissible gastroenteritis coronavirus was determined and found to be 90 nucleotides in length. An oligodeoxynucleotide with a sequence from within the leader was used as a probe in Northern analysis on RNA from infected cells, and an antileader (a minus-strand copy of the leader sequence) was shown to be present on all mRNA minus-strand species. RNase protection analysis showed the antileader to be approximately the same length as the leader. The kinetics of antileader appearance was the same as that for the appearance of minus-strand RNA species. This, along with a demonstration that viral mRNAs become packaged, gives further support to the idea that coronavirus mRNAs can undergo replication via subgenomic mRNA-length replicative intermediates, and that input mRNAs from infecting virions may serve as initial templates for their own replication. In this sense, then, coronaviruses behave in part like RNA viruses with segmented genomes.

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Accession: 040706822

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PMID: 1985203

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