The Marburg viruses Musoke (MARV-Mus) and Angola (MARV-Ang) have highly similar genomic sequences. Analysis of viral replication using various assays consistently identified MARV-Ang as the faster replicating virus. Non-coding genomic regions of negative sense RNA viruses are known to play a role in viral gene expression. A comparison of the six non-coding regions using bicistronic minigenomes revealed that the first two non-coding regions (NP/VP35 and VP35/VP40) differed significantly in their transcriptional regulation. Deletion mutation analysis of the MARV-Mus NP/VP35 region further revealed that the MARV polymerase (L) is able to initiate production of the downstream gene without the presence of highly conserved regulatory signals. Bicistronic minigenome assays also identified the VP30 mRNA 5' untranslated region as an rZAP-targeted RNA motif. Overall, our studies indicate that the high variation of MARV non-coding regions may play a significant role in observed differences in transcription and/or replication.
- Marburg virus
ASJC Scopus subject areas