1887

Abstract

To understand how DNA-dependent RNA polymerase II (pol II) recognizes hepatitis delta virus (HDV) RNA as a template, it is first necessary to identify the HDV sequence that acts as a promoter of pol II-initiated RNA synthesis. Therefore, we isolated the pol II-response element from HDV cDNA and examined the regulation by hepatitis delta antigens (HDAgs). Two HDV cDNA fragments containing bidirectional promoter activity were identified. One was located at nt 1582–1683 (transcription-promoter region 1, TR-P1) and the other at nt 1223–1363 (transcription-internal region 5, TR-I5). The promoter activities of these two regions were enhanced by HDAgs to differing degrees. Next, the role of these sequences in an HDV cDNA-free RNA replication system was characterized by site-directed mutagenesis. Our data showed that: (i) the AUG codon at the HDAg ORF of HDV RNA (nt 1599–1601) that mutates to UAG (amber stop codon) results in loss of dimeric but not monomeric HDV RNA synthesis. (ii) A 5 nt mutation of TR-P1 (P1-m5, nt 1670–1674) abolishes RNA replication completely. Two-nucleotide-mutated RNA (P1-m2, nt 1662–1663) is able to synthesize short RNAs but not monomeric HDV RNA. (iii) A mutation in 5 nt at the TR-I5 region (I5-m5, nt 1351–1355) also abolishes HDV replication. Mutants with 2 nt mutations (I5-m2, nt 1351–1352) or 3 nt mutations (I5-m3, nt 1353–1355) inhibit HDV dimeric but not monomeric RNA synthesis. Furthermore, large HDAg is expressed in cells transfected with I5-m3 and I5-m2 RNAs and that demonstrate the RNA-editing event in the monomeric HDV RNA. These results provide further understanding of the double rolling-circle mechanism in HDV RNA replication.

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2012-03-01
2020-11-25
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