-Adenosyl--methionine (SAM), a methyl donor, and its analogue -adenosyl--homocysteine (SAH), an inhibitor of methylation, stimulate the activity of spring viraemia of carp virus (SVCV) virion transcriptase. The stimulation observed for SVCV is analogous to that observed previously (Furuichi, 1974, 1978) for a totally unrelated virus, cytoplasmic polyhedrosis virus (CPV). In the absence of exogenous SAM, RNA with 5′-methylated termini (presumptive GpppAmpAp) was produced, indicating that SVCV has an endogenous methyl donor. Significantly less methylated termini were produced when SVCV nucleocapsids were used to prime transcription reactions, suggesting that the majority of the endogenous methyl donor is not associated with the nucleocapsid. Partial removal of endogenous methyl donor by preparing nucleocapsids did not have any effect on the degree of stimulation by exogenous SAM or SAH. We conclude from this study that SAH has two effects on SVCV transcription, inhibition of methylation and stimulation of transcription.


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