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Article

Altering SARS Coronavirus Frameshift Efficiency Affects Genomic and Subgenomic RNA Production

1
Laboratory of Emerging Pathogens, Division of Transfusion-Transmitted Diseases, Food and Drug Administration, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA
2
Departments of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA
3
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA
4
Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Division of Viral Products, Food and Drug Administration, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.
Viruses 2013, 5(1), 279-294; https://doi.org/10.3390/v5010279
Received: 6 December 2012 / Revised: 14 January 2013 / Accepted: 15 January 2013 / Published: 18 January 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Arteriviruses and Coronaviruses)
In previous studies, differences in the amount of genomic and subgenomic RNA produced by coronaviruses with mutations in the programmed ribosomal frameshift signal of ORF1a/b were observed. It was not clear if these differences were due to changes in genomic sequence, the protein sequence or the frequency of frameshifting. Here, viruses with synonymous codon changes are shown to produce different ratios of genomic and subgenomic RNA. These findings demonstrate that the protein sequence is not the primary cause of altered genomic and subgenomic RNA production. The synonymous codon changes affect both the structure of the frameshift signal and frameshifting efficiency. Small differences in frameshifting efficiency result in dramatic differences in genomic RNA production and TCID50 suggesting that the frameshifting frequency must stay above a certain threshold for optimal virus production. The data suggest that either the RNA sequence or the ratio of viral proteins resulting from different levels of frameshifting affects viral replication. View Full-Text
Keywords: SARS; severe acute respiratory syndrome; pseudoknot; ribosomal frameshifting; viral replication SARS; severe acute respiratory syndrome; pseudoknot; ribosomal frameshifting; viral replication
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MDPI and ACS Style

Plant, E.P.; Sims, A.C.; Baric, R.S.; Dinman, J.D.; Taylor, D.R. Altering SARS Coronavirus Frameshift Efficiency Affects Genomic and Subgenomic RNA Production. Viruses 2013, 5, 279-294. https://doi.org/10.3390/v5010279

AMA Style

Plant EP, Sims AC, Baric RS, Dinman JD, Taylor DR. Altering SARS Coronavirus Frameshift Efficiency Affects Genomic and Subgenomic RNA Production. Viruses. 2013; 5(1):279-294. https://doi.org/10.3390/v5010279

Chicago/Turabian Style

Plant, Ewan P., Amy C. Sims, Ralph S. Baric, Jonathan D. Dinman, and Deborah R. Taylor 2013. "Altering SARS Coronavirus Frameshift Efficiency Affects Genomic and Subgenomic RNA Production" Viruses 5, no. 1: 279-294. https://doi.org/10.3390/v5010279

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