1887

Abstract

The enterovirus R is composed of two helices, X and Y, anchored by a kissing (K) interaction. For proper R function, certain areas of these helices should be specifically oriented towards each other. It was hypothesized that the single-stranded nucleotides bridging the coaxial helices (Y–X and K–Y linkers) are important to determine this orientation. Spatial changes were introduced by altering the linker length between the helices of the coxsackievirus B3 R. Changing the linker lengths resulted in defective RNA replication, probably because of an altered R geometry. The identity of the linker residues also played a role, possibly because of sequence-specific ligand recognition. Although each point mutation altering the primary sequence of the Y–X spacer resulted in defective growth at 36 °C, the mutations had a wild-type phenotype at 39 °C, indicating a cold-sensitive phenotype. The results show that the intrinsic connection between R structure and function is fine-tuned by the spacing between the coaxial RNA helices.

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2006-03-01
2019-11-15
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