A G-C-Rich Palindromic Structural Motif and a Stretch of Single-Stranded Purines Are Required for Optimal Packaging of Mason-Pfizer Monkey Virus (MPMV) Genomic RNA

Soumeya Ali Jaballah, Suriya J. Aktar, Jahabar Ali, Pretty Susan Phillip, Noura Salem Al Dhaheri, Aayesha Jabeen, Tahir A. Rizvi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

During retroviral RNA packaging, two copies of genomic RNA are preferentially packaged into the budding virus particles whereas the spliced viral RNAs and the cellular RNAs are excluded during this process. Specificity towards retroviral RNA packaging is dependent upon sequences at the 5' end of the viral genome, which at times extend into Gag sequences. It has earlier been suggested that the Mason-Pfizer monkey virus (MPMV) contains packaging sequences within the 5' untranslated region (UTR) and Gag. These studies have also suggested that the packaging determinants of MPMV that lie in the UTR are bipartite and are divided into two regions both upstream and downstream of the major splice donor. However, the precise boundaries of these discontinuous regions within the UTR and the role of the intervening sequences between these dipartite sequences towards MPMV packaging have not been investigated. Employing a combination of genetic and structural prediction analyses, we have shown that region "A", immediately downstream of the primer binding site, is composed of 50 nt, whereas region "B" is composed of the last 23 nt of UTR, and the intervening 55 nt between these two discontinuous regions do not contribute towards MPMV RNA packaging. In addition, we have identified a 14-nt G-C-rich palindromic sequence (with 100% autocomplementarity) within region A that has been predicted to fold into a structural motif and is essential for optimal MPMV RNA packaging. Furthermore, we have also identified a stretch of single-stranded purines (ssPurines) within the UTR and 8 nt of these ssPurines are duplicated in region B. The native ssPurines or its repeat in region B when predicted to refold as ssPurines has been shown to be essential for RNA packaging, possibly functioning as a potential nucleocapsid binding site. Findings from this study should enhance our understanding of the steps involved in MPMV replication including RNA encapsidation process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)996-1014
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Volume401
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010

Keywords

  • Mason-Pfizer Monkey Virus (MPMV)
  • Palindromic sequence
  • RNA secondary-structure predictions
  • Retroviral RNA packaging
  • Single-stranded purines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology

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