1887

Abstract

Rotavirus mRNAs are transcribed from 11 genomic dsRNA segments within a subviral particle. The mRNAs are extruded into the cytoplasm where they serve as mRNA for protein synthesis and as templates for packaging and replication into dsRNA. The molecular steps in the replication pathway that regulate the levels of viral gene expression are not well defined. We have investigated potential mechanisms of regulation of rotavirus gene expression by functional evaluation of two differentially expressed viral mRNAs. NSP1 (gene 5) and VP6 (gene 6) are expressed early in infection, and VP6 is expressed in excess over NSP1. We formulated the hypothesis that the amounts of NSP1 and VP6 were regulated by the translational efficiencies of the respective mRNAs. We measured the levels of gene 5 and gene 6 mRNA and showed that they were not significantly different, and protein analysis indicated no difference in stability of NSP1 compared with VP6. Polyribosome analysis showed that the majority of gene 6 mRNA was present on large polysomes. In contrast, sedimentation of more than half of the gene 5 mRNA was subpolysomal. The change in distribution of gene 5 mRNA in polyribosome gradients in response to treatment with low concentrations of cycloheximide suggested that gene 5 is a poor translation initiation template compared with gene 6 mRNA. These data define a regulatory mechanism for the difference in amounts of VP6 and NSP1 and provide evidence for post-transcriptional control of rotavirus gene expression mediated by the translational efficiency of individual viral mRNAs.

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2003-02-01
2019-10-23
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