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The chaperone-like activity of conserved RNA elements in the hepatitis C virus regulates genome dimerization

AutorRomero-López C.; Barroso-delJesus, A. and Berzal-Herranz, A.
Palabras claveHepatitis C virus
RNA structure/function
RNA genome
Genome dimerization
Fecha de publicación24-feb-2017
CitaciónScientific Reports
ResumenThe RNA genome of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) establishes a network of long-distance RNA-RNA interactions that direct the progression of the infective cycle. This work shows that the dimerization of the viral genome, which is initiated at the dimer linkage sequence (DLS) within the 3′UTR, is promoted by the CRE region, while the IRES is a negative regulatory partner. Using differential 2′-acylation probing (SHAPE-dif) and molecular interference (HMX) technologies, the CRE activity was found to mainly lie in the critical 5BSL3.2 domain, while the IRES-mediated effect is dependent upon conserved residues within the essential structural elements JIIIabc, JIIIef and PK2. These findings support the idea that, along with the DLS motif, the IRES and CRE are needed to control HCV genome dimerization. They also provide evidences of a novel function for these elements as chaperone-like partners that finetune the architecture of distant RNA domains within the HCV genome.
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