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Adaptive changes in alphavirus mRNA translation allowed colonization of vertebrate hosts

AutorVentoso, Iván
Fecha de publicación2012
EditorAmerican Society for Microbiology
CitaciónJournal of Virology 86 (17): 9484-9494 (2012)
ResumenMembers of the Alphavirus genus are arboviruses that alternate replication in mosquitoes and vertebrate hosts. In vertebrate cells, the alphavirus resists the activation of antiviral RNA-activated protein kinase (PKR) by the presence of a prominent RNA structure (downstream loop [DLP]) located in viral 26S transcripts, which allows an eIF2-independent translation initiation of these mRNAs. This article shows that DLP structure is essential for replication of Sindbis virus (SINV) in vertebrate cell lines and animals but is dispensable for replication in insect cells, where no ortholog of the vertebrate PKR gene has been found. Sequence comparisons and structural RNA analysis revealed the evolutionary conservation of DLP in SINV and predicted the existence of equivalent DLP structures in many members of the Alphavirus genus. A mutant SINV lacking the DLP structure evolved in murine cells to recover a wild-type phenotype by creating an alternative structure in the RNA that restored the translational independence for eIF2. Genetic, phylogenetic, and biochemical data presented here support an evolutionary scenario for the natural history of alphaviruses, in which the acquisition of DLP structure in their mRNAs probably allowed the colonization of ver- tebrate host and the consequent geographic expansion of some of these viruses worldwide.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.01114-12
Identificadoresissn: 1098-5514
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