The non-primate hepacivirus 5' untranslated region possesses internal ribosomal entry site activity

Hazel Stewart, Cheryl Walter, Dale Jones, Sinead Lyons, Peter Simmonds, Mark Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The 5' untranslated region (5'UTR) of the recently described non-primate hepacivirus (NPHV) contains a region with sequence homology to the internal ribosomal entry site (IRES) of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and GB virus B (GBV-B). Here we demonstrate internal translation initiation by the NPHV 5'UTR in a bicistronic vector. An RNA stem-loop upstream of the NPHV IRES was structurally distinct from corresponding regions in HCV and GBV-B, and was not required for IRES function. Insertion of the NPHV stem-loop into the corresponding region of the HCV 5'UTR within the HCV subgenomic replicon significantly impaired RNA replication, indicating that long-range interactions between the 5'UTR and cis-acting downstream elements within the NPHV genome are not interchangeable with those of HCV. Despite similarities in IRES structure and function between hepaciviruses, replication elements in the NPHV 5'UTR appear functionally distinct from those of HCV.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2657-2663
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of General Virology
Volume94
Issue number12
Early online date11 Sep 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

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