Periodate or nitrous acid treatment greatly decreases the ability of unfractionated transfer RNA (tRNA) to be aminoacylated by tRNA-synthetases but these treatments do not affect their antiviral activity against encephalomyocarditis virus infection of mice. Bisulphite treatment of tRNA reduces its ability to be aminoacylated by 20% and has no effect on antiviral activity. Bromine water treatment of tRNA under conditions causing extensive base modifications eliminates aminoacylation and the antiviral activity of tRNA. Periodate treatment of yeast tRNA does not affect its antiviral activity and nitrous acid treatment increases its antiviral activity to that of tRNA. The ability to be aminoacylated does not therefore appear to be essential for antiviral activity of tRNA but extensive modification (bromine water treatment) does destroy antiviral activity.


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