Coronavirus Cell-Associated RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase

  • Douglas E. Dennis
  • David A. Brian
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 142)


Infectious, single-stranded, nonsegmented, polyadenylated, genomic RNA has been demonstrated for the avian infectious bronchitis virus (Lomniczi and Kennedy, 1977; Schochetman et al., 1977), the mouse hepatitis virus (Lai and Stohlman, 1978; Wege et al., 1978), and the transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV) of swine (Brian et al., 1980), three members of the coronavirus family. These properties alone would characterize these coronaviruses as positive-strand viruses and place them in category IV of the Baltimore Scheme (Baltimore, 1971). By analogy with the picornaviruses and togaviruses that have been characterized, also belonging to category IV of the Baltimore scheme, one would not expect to find an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase as part of the virion, but would expect to find such an enzyme in infected cells. In this paper we report that we are unable to detect an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase in purified virions, but we do find it associated with apparent membrane structures in infected cells between 4 and 6 h postinfection, a time when the rate of viral RNA synthesis is maximal. The [3H]UMP-incorporating activity probably represents coronaviral- specified RNA-dependent RNA polymerase since (a) the activity was 10- to 100-fold greater than any similar activity in uninfected cells, (b) the activity was insensitive to actinomycin D, (c) the product was destroyed by RNase but not by DNase, (d) the activity was associated with an apparent replication complex that had sedimentation properties the same as cytoplasmic structures containing virus-specific RNA.


Apparent Molecular Weight Uninfected Cell Infectious Bronchitis Virus Mouse Hepatitis Virus Transmissible Gastroenteritis Virus 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Baltimore, D., 1971, Expression of animal virus genomes, Bacteriol. Rev., 35: 235.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Brian, D.A., Dennis, D.E., and Guy, J.S., 1980, Genome of porcine transmissible gastroenteritis virus, J. Virol., 34: 410.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Erikson, E., Erikson, R.L., Henry, B., and Pace, N.R., 1973, Comparison of oligonucleotides produced by RNase Tl digestion of 7S RNA from avian and murine oncornavriuses and from uninfected cells, Virology, 53: 40.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Huang, A.S., Baltimore, D.A., and Bratt, M.A., 1971, Ribonucleic acid polymerase in virions of Newcastle disease virus: comparison with the vesicular stomatitis virus polymerase. J. Virol., 7: 389.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Lai, M.M.C. and Stohlman, S.A., 1978, RNA of mouse hepatitis virus. J. Virol., 26: 236.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Laskey, R.A. and Mills, A.D., 1975, Quantitative film detection of 3H and 14C in polyacrylamide gels by fluorography. Eur.J. Biochem., 56: 335.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Lehrach, H., Diamond, D., Wozney, J., and Boedtker, H., 1977, RNA molecular weight determinations by gel electrophoresis under denaturing conditions, a critical review, Biochemistry, 16: 4743.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Lomniczi, B. and Kennedy, I., 1977, Genome of infectious bronchitis virus, J. Virol. 24: 99.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. McClurkin, A.W. and Norman, J.O., 1966, Studies on tranmissible gastroenteritis of swine II. Selected characteristics of a cytopathogenic virus common to five isolates from transmissible gastroenteritis. Cn. J. Comp. Med. Vet. Sci., 30: 190.Google Scholar
  10. Polatnick, J. and Arlinghaus, R.B., 1967, Foot-and-mouth disease virus-induced ribonucleic acid polymerase in baby hamster kidney cells, Virology, 31: 601.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Schochetman, G., Steven, R.H., and Simpson, R.W., 1977. Presence of infectious polyadenylated RNA in the coronavirus avian bronchitis virus, Virology, 77: 772.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Wege, H., Muller, A. and Ter Meulen, V., 1978, Genomic RNA of the murine coronavirus JHM, J. Gen. Virol., 41: 217.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas E. Dennis
    • 1
  • David A. Brian
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyThe University of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations