Structural elements in the 5'-untranslated region of giardiavirus transcript essential for internal ribosome entry site-mediated translation initiation.
ABSTRACT Translation of uncapped giardiavirus (GLV) mRNA in Giardia lamblia requires the presence of a 5'-untranslated region (5'-UTR) and a viral capsid coding region. We used dicistronic viral constructs to show that the downstream 253 nucleotides (nt) of the 5'-UTR plus the initial 264-nt capsid coding region constitute an internal ribosome entry site (IRES). Predicted secondary structures in the 253-nt 5'-UTR include stem-loops U3, U4a, U4b, U4c, and U5. Chemical and enzymatic probing analysis confirmed the presence of all predicted stem-loops except U4a. Disruption of stem-loop structures U3 and U5 by site-directed mutagenesis resulted in a drastic reduction in translation of a monocistronic viral transcript, which could be restored by compensatory sequence changes. Mutations disrupting stem-loops U4b and U4c do not exert an appreciable effect on translation, but certain sequences in the U4a region and in U4b do appear to play important roles in the IRES. Structural analysis also suggests that an 8-nt U3 loop sequence (nt 147 to 154) pairs with an 8-nt downstream sequence (nt 168 to 175) to form a pseudoknot. Disruption of this pseudoknot by mutagenesis resulted in a drastic reduction in translation, which could be restored by compensatory sequence changes. This study has defined the secondary structure in the 5'-UTR of the IRES. Together with the previous results, we have now completed analysis of the entire structure of GLV IRES and fully defined the functionally essential structural elements in it.
Article: Identification of an essential pseudoknot in the putative downstream internal ribosome entry site in giardiavirus transcript.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Enhanced translation of giardiavirus-luciferase chimeric mRNA in Giardia lamblia requires the initial 264-nt viral capsid coding region as a putative internal ribosomal entry site (IRES). Essential structural elements in this site include (1) a downstream box (DB) complementary to the anti-DB at the 3' end of 16S-like rRNA, (2) stem-loops I, II, III, and IVA, and (3) a pentanucleotide 5'-UCUCC-3' immediately downstream from stem loop IVA. A search for the structural role of the pentanucleotide suggested that it may form a pseudoknot with another pentanucleotide 5'-GGAGA-3' in loop II. Alteration of the two pentanucleotides by site-directed mutagenesis resulted in a drastic reduction in translation of the transcript. But the loss was recovered by compensatory changes in the two sequences, suggesting Watson-Crick base pairings between them. Results from in vitro enzymatic and chemical structural probing supported the presence of such a pseudoknot 143 nt downstream from the initiation codon. Minor repositioning of this codon led invariably to a complete loss of translation, suggesting that the initiation site is confined within a rigid position defined by all the structural elements in the IRES including the pseudoknot. This is the first pseudoknot of its kind shown to play an important role in a downstream IRES of a viral transcript. The finding is particularly interesting because it could reflect a unique feature of translation initiation in Giardia, which is known to have exceedingly short (1-6 nt) 5' untranslated regions in its mRNAs.RNA 06/2002; 8(5):601-11. · 5.09 Impact Factor
Article: Expanded sequence dependence of thermodynamic parameters improves prediction of RNA secondary structure.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: An improved dynamic programming algorithm is reported for RNA secondary structure prediction by free energy minimization. Thermodynamic parameters for the stabilities of secondary structure motifs are revised to include expanded sequence dependence as revealed by recent experiments. Additional algorithmic improvements include reduced search time and storage for multibranch loop free energies and improved imposition of folding constraints. An extended database of 151,503 nt in 955 structures? determined by comparative sequence analysis was assembled to allow optimization of parameters not based on experiments and to test the accuracy of the algorithm. On average, the predicted lowest free energy structure contains 73 % of known base-pairs when domains of fewer than 700 nt are folded; this compares with 64 % accuracy for previous versions of the algorithm and parameters. For a given sequence, a set of 750 generated structures contains one structure that, on average, has 86 % of known base-pairs. Experimental constraints, derived from enzymatic and flavin mononucleotide cleavage, improve the accuracy of structure predictions.Journal of Molecular Biology 06/1999; 288(5):911-40. · 4.00 Impact Factor
Article: Structural studies of the RNA pseudoknot required for readthrough of the gag-termination codon of murine leukemia virus.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Retroviruses, such as murine leukemia virus (MuLV), whose gag and pol genes are in the same reading frame but separated by a UAG stop codon, require that 5-10 % of ribosomes decode the UAG as an amino acid and continue translation to synthesize the Gag-Pol fusion polyprotein. A specific pseudoknot located eight nucleotides 3' of the UAG is required for this redefinition of the UAG stop codon. The structural probing and mutagenic analyses presented here provide evidence that loop I of the pseudoknot is one nucleotide, stem II has seven base-pairs, and the nucleotides 3' of stem II are important for function. Stem II is more resistant to single-strand-specific probes than stem I. Sequences upstream of the UAG codon allow formation of two competing structures, a stem-loop and the pseudoknot.Journal of Molecular Biology 06/1999; 288(5):837-52. · 4.00 Impact Factor