Retroviruses are unique in having a diploid genome. However, the RNA sequences and structures that link the two RNA molecules are different. To identify the dimer linkage site of bovine foamy virus (BFV), complementary DNAs were used to interfere with RNA dimerization of BFV. We found that two sites, designated SI and SII, within a 53-base RNA fragment, were essential for BFV dimerization in vitro . SI consists of a potential guanine tetrad (GGGGC), which overlaps the primer binding site, while SII contains 15 nucleotides including a palindromic sequence, UCCCUAGGGA. Masking either of the sites completely abolished RNA dimer formation. Furthermore, a deletion of SII was introduced into a BFV infectious DNA clone; we found that deletion of SII significantly increased expression of BFV transactivator Borf-1. Interestingly, we also found that this deletion abolished viral infectivity. These results suggest that dimerization might play a unique role in the BFV life cycle.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 1, 2007
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