In HeLa cells infected with poliovirus, shifts from optimal to supraoptimal temperatures in the middle of the infectious cycle resulted in extensive degradation of newly made virus RNA. This temperature-induced degradation was not observed until about 3 hr after infection. It did not require simultaneous synthesis of proteins. During the first 3 hr of infection at 39.5°, RNA of temperature-resistant poliovirus strains replicated much faster than at 36°. Subsequently, degradation became predominant. Thus, temperature-resistant strains partially escaped the effects of degradation by faster replication. During the first 150 min. approximately, the RNA of temperature-sensitive strains replicated as well at supraoptimal as at optimal temperatures. Subsequently, newly made virus RNA was degraded. The inhibitory effect of supraoptimal temperatures may be due to release, or activation, of a ribonuclease.


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