1887

Abstract

The substitution rates of viral polymerases have been studied extensively. However less is known about the tendency of these enzymes to ‘slip’ during RNA synthesis to produce progeny RNAs with nucleotide insertions or deletions. We recently described the functional utilization of programmed polymerase slippage in the family Potyviridae. This slippage results in either an insertion or a substitution, depending on whether the RNA duplex realigns following the insertion. In this study we investigated whether this phenomenon is a conserved feature of superfamily I viral RdRps, by inserting a range of potyvirus-derived slip-prone sequences into a picornavirus, Theiler’s murine encephalomyelitis virus (TMEV). Deep-sequencing analysis of viral transcripts indicates that the TMEV polymerase ‘slips’ at the sequences U6–7 and A6–7 to insert additional nucleotides. Such sequences are under-represented within picornaviral genomes, suggesting that slip-prone sequences create a fitness cost. Nonetheless, the TMEV insertional and substitutional spectrum differed from that previously determined for the potyvirus polymerase.

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2018-12-03
2019-09-18
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