A positive-strand RNA virus with three very different subgenomic RNA promoters.
ABSTRACT: Numerous RNA viruses generate subgenomic mRNAs (sgRNAs) for expression of their 3'-proximal genes. A major step in control of viral gene expression is the regulation of sgRNA synthesis by specific promoter elements. We used barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) as a model system to study transcriptional control in a virus with multiple sgRNAs. BYDV generates three sgRNAs during infection. The sgRNA1 promoter has been mapped previously to a 98-nucleotide (nt) region which forms two stem-loop structures. It was determined that sgRNA1 is not required for BYDV RNA replication in oat protoplasts. In this study, we show that neither sgRNA2 nor sgRNA3 is required for BYDV RNA replication. The promoters for sgRNA2 and sgRNA3 synthesis were mapped by using deletion mutagenesis. The minimal sgRNA2 promoter is approximately 143 nt long (nt 4810 to 4952) and is located immediately downstream of the putative sgRNA2 start site (nt 4809). The minimal sgRNA3 core promoter is 44 nt long (nt 5345 to 5388), with most of the sequence located downstream of sgRNA3 start site (nt 5348). For both promoters, additional sequences upstream of the start site enhanced sgRNA promoter activity. These promoters contrast to the sgRNA1 promoter, in which almost all of the promoter is located upstream of the transcription initiation site. Comparison of RNA sequences and computer-predicted secondary structures revealed little or no homology between the three sgRNA promoter elements. Thus, a small RNA virus with multiple sgRNAs can have very different subgenomic promoters, which implies a complex system for promoter recognition and regulation of subgenomic RNA synthesis.
Project description:Hibiscus chlorotic ringspot virus (HCRSV), which belongs to the genus Carmovirus, generates two 3'-coterminal subgenomic RNAs (sgRNAs) of 1.4 kb and 1.7 kb. Transcription start sites of the two sgRNAs were identified at nucleotides (nt) 2178 and 2438, respectively. The full promoter of sgRNA1, a 118-base sequence, is localized between positions +6 and -112 relative to its transcription start site (+1). Similarly, a 132-base sequence, from +6 to -126, defines the sgRNA2 promoter. Computer analysis revealed that both sgRNA promoters share a similar two-stem-loop (SL1 + SL2) structure, immediately upstream of the transcription start site. Mutational analysis of the primary sequence and secondary structures showed further similarities between the two subgenomic promoters. The basal portion of SL2, encompassing the transcription start site, was essential for transcription activity in each promoter, while SL1 and the upper portion of SL2 played a role in transcription enhancement. Both the 5' untranslated region (UTR) and the last 87 nt at the 3' UTR of HCRSV genomic RNA are likely to be the putative genomic plus-strand and minus-strand promoters, respectively. They function well as individual sgRNA promoters to produce ectopic subgenomic RNAs in vivo but not to the same levels of the actual sgRNA promoters. This suggests that HCRSV sgRNA promoters share common features with the promoters for genomic plus-strand and minus-strand RNA synthesis. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that both the 5' UTR and part of the 3' UTR can be duplicated and function as sgRNA promoters within a single viral genome.
Project description:SaCas9/sgRNA, derived from Staphylococcus aureus, is an alternative system for genome editing to Streptococcus pyogenes SpCas9/sgRNA. The smaller SaCas9 recognizes a different protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) sequence from SpCas9. SaCas9/sgRNA has been employed to edit the genomes of Arabidopsis, tobacco and rice. In this study, we aimed to test its potential in genome editing of citrus. Transient expression of SaCas9/sgRNA in Duncan grapefruit via Xcc-facilitated agroinfiltration showed it can successfully modify CsPDS and Cs2g12470. Subsequently, binary vector GFP-p1380N-SaCas9/35S-sgRNA1:AtU6-sgRNA2 was developed to edit two target sites of Cs7g03360 in transgenic Carrizo citrange. Twelve GFP-positive Carrizo transformants were successfully established, designated as #Cz1 to #Cz12. Based on targeted next generation sequencing results, the mutation rates for the two targets ranged from 15.55 to 39.13% for sgRNA1 and 49.01 to 79.67% for sgRNA2. Therefore, SaCas9/sgRNA can be used as an alternative tool to SpCas9/sgRNA for citrus genome editing.
Project description:Citrus tristeza virus (CTV) produces more than thirty 3'- or 5'-terminal subgenomic RNAs (sgRNAs) that accumulate to various extents during replication in protoplasts and plants. Among the most unusual species are two abundant populations of small 5'-terminal sgRNAs of approximately 800 nucleotides (nt) termed low-molecular-weight tristeza (LMT1 and LMT2) RNAs. Remarkably, CTV replicons with all 10 3' genes deleted produce only the larger LMT1 RNAs. These 5'-terminal positive-sense sgRNAs do not have corresponding negative strands and were hypothesized to be produced by premature termination during plus-strand genomic RNA synthesis. We characterized a cis-acting element that controls the production of the LMT1 RNAs. Since manipulation of this cis-acting element in its native position (the L-ProI region of replicase) was not possible because the mutations negatively affect replication, a region (5'TR) surrounding the putative termination sites (nt approximately 550 to 1000) was duplicated in the 3' end of a CTV replicon to allow characterization. The duplicated sequence continued to produce a 5'-terminal plus-strand sgRNA, here much larger ( approximately 11 kb), apparently by termination. Surprisingly, a new 3'-terminal sgRNA was observed from the duplicated 5'TR. A large 3'-terminal sgRNA resulting from the putative promoter activity of the native 5'TR was not observed, possibly because of the down-regulation of a promoter approximately 19 kb from the 3' terminus. However, we were able to observe a sgRNA produced from the native 5'TR of a small defective RNA, which placed the native 5'TR closer to the 3' terminus, demonstrating sgRNA promoter activity of the native 5'TR. Deletion mutagenesis mapped the promoter and the terminator activities of the 5'TR (in the 3' position in the CTV replicon) to a 57-nt region, which was folded by the MFOLD computer program into two stem-loops. Mutations in the putative stem-loop structures equally reduced or prevented production of both the 3'- and 5'-terminal sgRNAs. These mutations, when introduced in frame in the native 5'TR, similarly abolished the synthesis of the LMT1 RNAs and presumably the large 3'-terminal sgRNA while having no impact on replication, demonstrating that neither 5'- nor 3'-terminal sgRNA is necessary for replication of the replicon or full-length CTV in protoplasts. Differences between the 5'TR, which produced two plus-strand sgRNAs, and the cis-acting elements controlling the 3' open reading frames, which produced additional minus-strand sgRNAs corresponding to the 3'-terminal mRNAs, suggest that the different sgRNA controller elements had different origins in the modular evolution of closteroviruses.
Project description:CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing is a next-generation strategy for genetic modifications. Typically, sgRNA is constitutively expressed relying on RNA polymerase III promoters. Polymerase II promoters initiate transcription in a flexible manner, but sgRNAs generated by RNA polymerase II promoter lost their nuclease activity. To express sgRNAs in a tissue-specific fashion and endow CRISPR with more versatile function, a novel system was established in a polycistron, where miRNAs (or shRNAs) and sgRNAs alternately emerged and co-expressed under the control of a single polymerase II promoter. Effective expression and further processing of functional miRNAs and sgRNAs were achieved. The redundant nucleotides adjacent to sgRNA were degraded, and 5'- cap structure was responsible for the compromised nuclease capacity of sgRNA: Cas9 complex. Furthermore, this strategy fulfilled conducting multiplex genome editing, as well as executing neural- specific genome editing and enhancing the proportion of homologous recombination via inhibiting NHEJ pathway by shRNA. In summary, we designed a new construction for efficient expression of sgRNAs with miRNAs (shRNAs) by virtue of RNA polymerase II promoters, which will spur the development of safer, more controllable/regulable and powerful CRISPR/Cas9 system-mediated genome editing in a wide variety of further biomedical applications.
Project description:We determined the complete nucleotide sequence of the Rose spring dwarf-associated virus (RSDaV) genomic RNA (GenBank accession no. EU024678) and compared its predicted RNA structural characteristics affecting gene expression. A cDNA library was derived from RSDaV double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) purified from infected tissue. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the cloned cDNAs, plus for clones generated by 5'- and 3'-RACE showed the RSDaV genomic RNA to be 5808 nucleotides. The genomic RNA contains five major open reading frames (ORFs), and three small ORFs in the 3'-terminal 800 nucleotides, typical for viruses of genus Luteovirus in the family Luteoviridae. Northern blot hybridization analysis revealed the genomic RNA and two prominent subgenomic RNAs of approximately 3 kb and 1 kb. Putative 5' ends of the sgRNAs were predicted by identification of conserved sequences and secondary structures which resembled the Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) genomic RNA 5' end and subgenomic RNA promoter sequences. Secondary structures of the BYDV-like ribosomal frameshift elements and cap-independent translation elements, including long-distance base pairing spanning four kb were identified. These contain similarities but also informative differences with the BYDV structures, including a strikingly different structure predicted for the 3' cap-independent translation element. These analyses of the RSDaV genomic RNA show more complexity for the RNA structural elements for members of the Luteoviridae.
Project description:Several pieces of evidence suggest that small RNA degradation products together with tRNase ZL appear to form another layer of the whole gene regulatory network. The degraded RNA such as a 5'-half-tRNA and an rRNA fragment function as small guide RNA (sgRNA) to guide the enzyme to target RNA. We were curious whether there exist RNAs in plasma that can function as sgRNAs for tRNase ZL, whether these RNAs are working as signaling molecules between cells to fulfill physiological roles, and whether there are any differences in plasma sgRNA species and levels between normal and pathological conditions. Here, we analyzed small plasma RNAs from three healthy persons and three multiple myeloma patients for potential sgRNAs by deep sequencing. We also examined small RNAs from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of three healthy persons and three myeloma patients and from various cultured human cell lines for sgRNAs. We found that read-number distribution patterns of plasma and PBMC RNAs differ between persons in the range of 5-40 nt and that there are many RNA species that exist significantly more or less abundantly in the plasma or PBMC of the myeloma patients than those of the healthy persons. Furthermore, we found that there are many potential sgRNAs in the 5-40-nt RNAs and that, among them, a 31-nt RNA fragment derived from 94-nt Y4-RNA, which can function as a 5'-half-tRNA-type sgRNA, is overwhelmingly abundant in the plasma of 2/3 of the examinees. These observations suggest that the gene regulatory network via tRNase ZL and sgRNA may be extended intercellularly.
Project description:Citrus tristeza virus (CTV), a member of the Closteroviridae, has a positive-sense RNA genome of about 20 kb organized into 12 open reading frames (ORFs). The last 10 ORFs are expressed through 3'-coterminal subgenomic RNAs (sgRNAs) regulated in both amounts and timing. Additionally, relatively large amounts of complementary sgRNAs are produced. We have been unable to determine whether these sgRNAs are produced by internal promotion from the full-length template minus strand or by transcription from the minus-stranded sgRNAs. Understanding the regulation of 10 sgRNAs is a conceptual challenge. In analyzing commonalities of a replicase complex in producing so many sgRNAs, we examined initiating nucleotides of the sgRNAs. We mapped the 5' termini of intermediate- (CP and p13) and low- (p18) produced sgRNAs that, like the two highly abundant sgRNAs (p20 and p23) previously mapped, all initiate with an adenylate. We then examined modifications of the initiation site, which has been shown to be useful in defining mechanisms of sgRNA synthesis. Surprisingly, mutation of the initiating nucleotide of the CTV sgRNAs did not prevent sgRNA accumulation. Based on our results, the CTV replication complex appears to initiate sgRNA synthesis with purines, preferably with adenylates, and is able to initiate synthesis using a nucleotide a few positions 5' or 3' of the native initiation nucleotide. Furthermore, the context of the initiation site appears to be a regulatory mechanism for levels of sgRNA production. These data do not support either of the established mechanisms for synthesis of sgRNAs, suggesting that CTV sgRNA production utilizes a different mechanism.
Project description:Insects are a reservoir for many known and novel viruses. We discovered an unknown virus, tentatively named mosinovirus (MoNV), in mosquitoes from a tropical rainforest region in Côte d'Ivoire. The MoNV genome consists of two segments of positive-sense RNA of 2,972 nucleotides (nt) (RNA 1) and 1,801 nt (RNA 2). Its putative RNA-dependent RNA polymerase shares 43% amino acid identity with its closest relative, that of the Pariacoto virus (family Nodaviridae). Unexpectedly, for the putative capsid protein, maximal pairwise identity of 16% to Lake Sinai virus 2, an unclassified virus with a nonsegmented RNA genome, was found. Moreover, MoNV virions are nonenveloped and about 50 nm in diameter, larger than any of the known nodaviruses. Mature MoNV virions contain capsid proteins of ? 56 kDa, which do not seem to be cleaved from a longer precursor. Northern blot analyses revealed that MoNV expresses two subgenomic RNAs of 580 nt (RNA 3) and 292 nt (RNA 4). RNA 4 encodes a viral suppressor of RNA interference (RNAi) that shares its mechanism with the B2 RNAi suppressor protein of other nodaviruses despite lacking recognizable similarity to these proteins. MoNV B2 binds long double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) and, accordingly, inhibits Dicer-2-mediated processing of dsRNA into small interfering RNAs (siRNAs). Phylogenetic analyses indicate that MoNV is a novel member of the family Nodaviridae that acquired its capsid gene via reassortment from an unknown, distantly related virus beyond the family level.The identification of novel viruses provides important information about virus evolution and diversity. Here, we describe an unknown unique nodavirus in mosquitoes, named mosinovirus (MoNV). MoNV was classified as a nodavirus based on its genome organization and on phylogenetic analyses of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. Notably, its capsid gene was acquired from an unknown virus with a distant relationship to nodaviruses. Another remarkable feature of MoNV is that, unlike other nodaviruses, it expresses two subgenomic RNAs (sgRNAs). One of the sgRNAs expresses a protein that counteracts antiviral defense of its mosquito host, whereas the function of the other sgRNA remains unknown. Our results show that complete genome segments can be exchanged beyond the species level and suggest that insects harbor a large repertoire of exceptional viruses.
Project description:The expression of the genomic information of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS CoV) involves synthesis of a nested set of subgenomic RNAs (sgRNAs) by discontinuous transcription. In SARS CoV-infected cells, 10 sgRNAs, including 2 novel ones, were identified, which were predicted to be functional in the expression of 12 open reading frames located in the 3' one-third of the genome. Surprisingly, one new sgRNA could lead to production of a truncated spike protein. Sequence analysis of the leader-body fusion sites of each sgRNA showed that the junction sequences and the corresponding transcription-regulatory sequence (TRS) are unique for each species of sgRNA and are consistent after virus passages. For the two novel sgRNAs, each used a variant of the TRS that has one nucleotide mismatch in the conserved hexanucleotide core (ACGAAC) in the TRS. Coexistence of both plus and minus strands of SARS CoV sgRNAs and evidence for derivation of the sgRNA core sequence from the body core sequence favor the model of discontinuous transcription during minus-strand synthesis. Moreover, one rare species of sgRNA has the junction sequence AAA, indicating that its transcription could result from a noncanonical transcription signal. Taken together, these results provide more insight into the molecular mechanisms of genome expression and subgenomic transcription of SARS CoV.
Project description:tRNase Z(L)-utilizing efficacious gene silencing (TRUE gene silencing) is a newly developed technology to suppress mammalian gene expression. TRUE gene silencing works on the basis of a unique enzymatic property of mammalian tRNase Z(L), which is that it can recognize a pre-tRNA-like or micro-pre-tRNA-like complex formed between target RNA and artificial small guide RNA (sgRNA) and can cleave any target RNA at any desired site. There are four types of sgRNA, 5'-half-tRNA, RNA heptamer, hook RNA, and ~14-nt linear RNA. Here we show that a 14-nt linear-type sgRNA against human miR-16 can guide tRNase Z(L) cleavage of miR-16 in vitro and can downregulate the miR-16 level in HEK293 cells. We also demonstrate that the 14-nt sgRNA can be efficiently taken up without any transfection reagents by living cells and can exist stably in there for at least 24 hours. The naked 14-nt sgRNA significantly reduced the miR-16 level in HEK293 and HL60 cells. Three other naked 14-nt sgRNAs against miR-142-3p, miR-206, and miR-19a/b are also shown to downregulate the respective miRNA levels in various mammalian cell lines. Our observations suggest that in general we can eliminate a specific cellular miRNA at least by ~50% by using a naked 14-nt sgRNA on the basis of TRUE gene silencing.