FCCC LOGO Faculty Publications
Lazinski DW , Taylor JM
Expression of Hepatitis-Delta Virus-Rna Deletions - Cis and Trans Requirements for Self-Cleavage, Ligation, and Rna Packaging
Journal of Virology. 1994 May;68(5) :2879-2888
PMID: ISI:A1994NF45200012   
Back to previous list
The hepatitis delta virus (HDV) genome is a circular, single- stranded, rod-shaped, 1.7-kb RNA that replicates via a rolling- circle mechanism. Viral ribozymes function to cleave replication intermediates which are then ligated to generate the circular product. HDV expresses two forms of a single protein, the small and large delta antigens (delta Ag-S and delta Ag-L), which associate with viral RNA in a ribonucleoprotein (RNP) structure. While delta Ag-S is required for RNA replication, delta Ag-L inhibits this process but promotes the assembly of the RNP into mature virions. In this study, we have expressed full-length and deleted HDV RNA inside cells to determine tl;e minimal RNA sequences required for self-cleavage, ligation, RNP packaging, and virion assembly and to assess the role of either delta antigen in each of these processes. We report the following findings. (i) The cleavage and ligation reactions did not require either delta antigen and were not inhibited in their presence. (ii) delta Ag-L, in the absence of delta Ag-S, formed an RNP with HDV RNA which could be assembled into secreted virus-like particles, (iii) Full- length HDV RNAs were stabilized in the presence of either delta antigen and accumulated to much higher levels than in their absence. (iv) As few as 348 nucleotides of HDV RNA were Competent for circle formation, RNP assembly, and incorporation into virus-Like particles. (v) An HDV RNA incapable of folding into the rod-like structure was not packaged by delta Ag-L.
English Article NF452 J VIROL