Four species of single-stranded virus RNA (49S, 38S, 33S and 26S) were detected in chick embryo fibroblasts infected with Sindbis virus. The relative amounts of these RNAs were unaffected by the m.o.i. There was also no significant difference in the molar proportions of the four RNA species when purified virion RNA was used as the inoculum. These findings suggest that the 38S and 33S species represent products of the transcription of non-defective virion RNAs. Kinetic analyses of RNA synthesis indicated that during a 1 min pulse more radioactivity was associated with the 38S than with the 49S RNA and as the length of the pulse increased, the ratio of 38S/49S decreased, with the 49S appearing as the predominant species. Furthermore, addition of cycloheximide within the first 3 h p.i. resulted in detection of only the 49S species. Synthesis of all four species was unaffected when the drug was added after this time period. These data suggest that the 38S species may represent newly synthesized 49S molecules and some protein(s) synthesized within the first 3 h p.i. is necessary for maintaining the 38S conformational form.


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