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RSS FeedsFunctional and structural characterization of the chikungunya virus translational recoding signals [RNA] (Journal of Biological Chemistry)

 
 

11 november 2018 02:00:14

 
Functional and structural characterization of the chikungunya virus translational recoding signals [RNA] (Journal of Biological Chemistry)
 




Climate change and human globalization have spurred the rapid spread of mosquito-borne diseases to na´ve populations. One such emerging virus of public health concern is chikungunya virus (CHIKV), a member of the Togaviridae family, genus Alphavirus. CHIKV pathogenesis is predominately characterized by acute febrile symptoms and severe arthralgia, which can persist in the host long after viral clearance. CHIKV has also been implicated in cases of acute encephalomyelitis, and its vertical transmission has been reported. Currently, no FDA-approved treatments exist for this virus. Recoding elements help expand the coding capacity in many viruses and therefore represent potential therapeutic targets in antiviral treatments. Here, we report the molecular and structural characterization of two CHIKV translational recoding signals: a termination codon read-through (TCR) element located between the nonstructural protein 3 and 4 genes and a programmed -1 ribosomal frameshift (-1 PRF) signal located toward the 3┤ end of the CHIKV 6K gene. Using Dual-Luciferase and immunoblot assays in HEK293T and U87MG mammalian cell lines, we validated and genetically characterized efficient TCR and -1 PRF. Analyses of RNA chemical modification data with selective 2┤-hydroxyl acylation and primer extension (SHAPE) assays revealed that CHIKV -1 PRF is stimulated by a tightly structured, triple-stem hairpin element, consistent with previous observations in alphaviruses, and that the TCR signal is composed of a single large multibulged hairpin element. These findings illuminate the roles of RNA structure in translational recoding and provide critical information relevant for design of live-attenuated vaccines against CHIKV and related viruses.


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38 viewsCategory: Biochemistry
 
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