Leishmaniavirus (LRV) is a double-stranded RNA virus that persistently infects the protozoan parasite Leishmania. LRV produces a short RNA transcript, corresponding to the 5′ end of positive-sense viral RNA, both in vivo and in in vitro polymerase assays. The short transcript is generated by a single site-specific cleavage event in the 5′ untranslated region of the 5.3-kb genome. This cleavage event can be reproduced in vitro with purified viral particles and a substrate RNA transcript possessing the viral cleavage site. A region of nucleotides required for cleavage was identified by analyzing the cleavage sites yielding the short transcripts of various LRV isolates. A 6-nt deletion at this cleavage site completely abolished RNA processing. In an in vitro cleavage assay, baculovirus-expressed capsid protein possessed an endonuclease activity identical to that of native virions, showing that the viral capsid protein is the RNA endonuclease. Identification of the LRV capsid protein as an RNA endonuclease is unprecedented among known viral capsid proteins.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Sep 12 1995|
- Double-stranded RNA virus
- RNA processing
ASJC Scopus subject areas