Influenza A virus RNA polymerase has the ability to stutter at the polyadenylation site of a viral RNA template during RNA replication

Hongyong Zheng, Hye Annie Lee, Peter Palese, Adolfo García-Sastre

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41 Scopus citations

Abstract

The viral polymerase of influenza virus, a negative-strand RNA virus, is believed to polyadenylate the mRNAs by stuttering at a stretch of five to seven uridine residues which are located close to the 5' ends of the viral RNA templates. However, a mechanism of polyadenylation based on a template- independent synthesis of the poly(A) tail has not been excluded. In this report, we present new evidence showing the inherent ability of the viral polymerase to stutter at the poly(U) stretch of a viral RNA template during RNA replication. Variants which possess 1- to 13-nucleotide-long insertions at the poly(U) stretch have been identified. These results support a stuttering mechanism for the polyadenylation of influenza virus mRNAs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5240-5243
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Virology
Volume73
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999

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