Genomic structure and RNA polymerase activity in Leishmania virus

G. Widmer, J. L. Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Viral particles infecting some stocks of the protozoan parasite Leishmania braziliensis subsp. guyanensis contain a double-stranded RNA genome of ca. 5 kbp and are associated with an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase which synthesizes in vitro double-stranded and single-stranded, genome-length transcripts. The majority of viral transcripts are single-stranded and templated from one genomic strand. The putative replicase generates double-stranded RNA by synthesizing the opposite strand on a preexisting RNA template. These data are compatible with a replicative cycle proposed for the yeast viruses. Purification of the Leishmania virus on CsCl yields virus without double-strand synthesis activity, while this activity is consistently present in unpurified virus and in particles from sucrose gradients. The deficiency in double-strand synthesis in CsCl-derived virions correlates with the accessibility of the viral polymerase and genomic RNA to exogenously added enzymes, indicative of a structural modification of the viral capsid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4211-4215
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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