Characterization of the polyadenylation signal of influenza virus RNA

Xingqiang Li, Peter Palese

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

79 Scopus citations


It has been shown that a stretch of uridines (U's) near the 5' end of the virion RNA of influenza A virus is the polyadenylation site for viral mRNA synthesis. In addition, the RNA duplex made up of the 3' and 5' terminal sequences adjacent to the U stretch is also involved in polyadenylation. We have further characterized the polyadenylation signal of influenza virus RNA with a ribonucleoprotein transfection system. We found that the optimal length of the U stretch is 5 to 7 uridine residues. We also showed that the upstream sequence at the 5' end is not involved in polyadenylation and that the optimal distance between the 5' end and the U stretch is 16 nucleotides. The combination of these features defines the polyadenylation site and differentiates this signal from other U stretches scattered throughout the genomes of influenza viruses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1245-1249
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1994


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