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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

DNA-Directed expression of functional flock house virus RNA1 derivatives in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, heterologous gene expression, and selective effects on subgenomic mRNA synthesis.

Flock house virus (FHV), a positive-strand RNA animal virus, is the only higher eukaryotic virus shown to undergo complete replication in yeast, culminating in production of infectious virions. To facilitate studies of viral and host functions in FHV replication in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, yeast DNA plasmids were constructed to inducibly express wild-type FHV RNA1 in vivo. Subsequent translation of FHV replicase protein A initiated robust RNA1 replication, amplifying RNA1 to levels approaching those of rRNA, as in FHV-infected animal cells. The RNA1-derived subgenomic mRNA, RNA3, accumulated to even higher levels of >100,000 copies per yeast cell, compared to 10 copies or less per cell for 95% of yeast mRNAs. The time course of RNA1 replication and RNA3 synthesis in induced yeast paralleled that in yeast transfected with natural FHV virion RNA. As in animal cells, RNA1 replication and RNA3 synthesis depended on FHV RNA replicase protein A and 3'-terminal RNA1 sequences but not viral protein B2. Additional plasmids were engineered to inducibly express RNA1 derivatives with insertions of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene in subgenomic RNA3. These RNA1 derivatives were replicated, synthesized RNA3, and expressed GFP when provided FHV polymerase in either cis or trans, providing the first demonstration of reporter gene expression from FHV subgenomic RNA. Unexpectedly, fusing GFP to the protein A C terminus selectively inhibited production of positive- and negative-strand subgenomic RNA3 but not genomic RNA1 replication. Moreover, changing the first nucleotide of the subgenomic mRNA from G to T selectively inhibited production of positive-strand but not negative-strand RNA3, suggesting that synthesis of negative-strand subgenomic RNA3 may precede synthesis of positive-strand RNA3.[1]


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