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Transcription of Vesicular Stomatitis Virus

  • Suzanne Urjil Emerson
Part of the The Viruses book series (VIRS)

Abstract

Up until 1970, it was not understood why the deproteinized genomic RNAs of positive-strand viruses such as poliovirus were infectious while those of negative-strand viruses such as vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) were not. An explanation of this difference was obtained when Baltimore et al. (1970) incubated highly purified virions of VSV with nonionic detergent, salts, and nucleoside triphosphates and demonstrated that RNA was synthesized in vitro. There was an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase packaged in the virion! Since the RNA synthesized in vitro was complementary to the genomic RNA, it was thought to be messenger RNA (mRNA), and the enzyme responsible for its synthesis was named the “transcriptase.” It is now clear that the obligatory first biosynthetic step in the infectious cycles of negative-strand viruses is transcription. Since the host cells appear to lack enzymes capable of utilizing RNA as templates, the infecting virus particle must carry its own supply of transcriptase into the cell to initiate the viral reproductive cycle. It is generally assumed that the viral polymerase is totally or mostly coded for by viral genes.

Keywords

Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Nonpermissive Temperature Defective Interfere Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy Analysis Polyadenylic Acid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suzanne Urjil Emerson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of Virginia School of MedicineCharlottesvilleUSA

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