Both entero- and cardioviruses have been shown to suppress host mRNA synthesis. Enteroviruses are also known to inhibit the activity of rRNA genes, whereas this ability of cardioviruses is under debate. This study reported that mengovirus (a cardiovirus) suppressed rRNA synthesis but less efficiently than poliovirus (an enterovirus). In contrast to poliovirus infection, the incorporation of BrUTP, fluorouridine and [C]uridine in rRNA precursors was observed even during the late stages of mengovirus infection, although at a significantly reduced level. The cleavage of TATA-binding protein, considered to be one of the central events in poliovirus-induced transcription shutoff, was not detected in mengovirus-infected cells, indicating a difference in the mechanisms of host RNA synthesis inhibition caused by these viruses. The results also showed that functional leader protein is redundant for the suppression of host RNA synthesis by cardiovirus.


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