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Viruses 2017, 9(4), 74; doi:10.3390/v9040074

Structure of Ty1 Internally Initiated RNA Influences Restriction Factor Expression

1
Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznan 61-704, Poland
2
Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Eric O. Freed
Received: 1 February 2017 / Revised: 20 March 2017 / Accepted: 3 April 2017 / Published: 10 April 2017
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Abstract

The long-terminal repeat retrotransposon Ty1 is the most abundant mobile genetic element in many Saccharomyces cerevisiae isolates. Ty1 retrotransposons contribute to the genetic diversity of host cells, but they can also act as an insertional mutagen and cause genetic instability. Interestingly, retrotransposition occurs at a low level despite a high level of Ty1 RNA, even though S. cerevisiae lacks the intrinsic defense mechanisms that other eukaryotes use to prevent transposon movement. p22 is a recently discovered Ty1 protein that inhibits retrotransposition in a dose-dependent manner. p22 is a truncated form of Gag encoded by internally initiated Ty1i RNA that contains two closely-spaced AUG codons. Mutations of either AUG codon compromise p22 translation. We found that both AUG codons were utilized and that translation efficiency depended on the Ty1i RNA structure. Structural features that stimulated p22 translation were context dependent and present only in Ty1i RNA. Destabilization of the 5′ untranslated region (5′ UTR) of Ty1i RNA decreased the p22 level, both in vitro and in vivo. Our data suggest that protein factors such as Gag could contribute to the stability and translational activity of Ty1i RNA through specific interactions with structural motifs in the RNA. View Full-Text
Keywords: RNA structure; Ty1 retrotransposon; Gag; translation regulation RNA structure; Ty1 retrotransposon; Gag; translation regulation
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Błaszczyk, L.; Biesiada, M.; Saha, A.; Garfinkel, D.J.; Purzycka, K.J. Structure of Ty1 Internally Initiated RNA Influences Restriction Factor Expression. Viruses 2017, 9, 74.

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