Requirement of the Poly(A) Tail in Coronavirus Genome Replication
The 3′ poly (A) tail plays an important, but as yet undefined role in Coronavirus genome replication. To further examine the requirement for the Coronavirus poly(A) tail, we created truncated poly(A) mutant defective interfering (DI) RNAs and observed the effects on replication. Bovine Coronavirus (BCV) and mouse hepatitis Coronavirus A59 (MHV-A59) DI RNAs with tails of 5 or 10 A residues were replicated, albeit at delayed kinetics as compared to DI RNAs with wild type tail lengths (>50 A residues). A BCV DI RNA lacking a poly(A) tail was unable to replicate; however, a MHV DI lacking a tail did replicate following multiple virus passages. Poly(A) tail extension/repair was concurrent with robust replication of the tail mutants. Binding of the host factor poly(A)- binding protein (PABP) appeared to correlate with the ability of DI RNAs to be replicated. Poly(A) tail mutants that were compromised for replication, or that were unable to replicate at all exhibited less in vitro PABP interaction. The data support the importance of the poly(A) tail in Coronavirus replication and further delineate the minimal requirements for viral genome propagation.
KeywordsGenome Replication Mouse Hepatitis Virus Defective Interfere Virus Passage Bovine Coronavirus
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