The genomic RNA of human coronavirus strain 229E (HCV 229E) migrated on polyacrylamide gels as a single peak with a mol. wt. of 5.8 × 10. Denaturation of the genome with formaldehyde did not alter its electrophoretic mobility, which suggests that the HCV 229E genome is a single-stranded molecule. At least 30% of the genomic RNA was shown to contain covalently attached polyadenylic acid [poly(A)] sequences by binding the RNA to an oligo(dT)-cellulose column. These poly(A) tracts were shown to be about 70 nucleotides in length by measuring the resistance to digestion of HCV 229E RNA with pancreatic and T RNases. Finally, the genomic RNA was shown to terminate at or near the 3′-terminus on the basis of its susceptibility to polynucleotide phosphorylase.


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