Multiple Cis-acting elements modulate programmed -1 ribosomal frameshifting in Pea enation mosaic virus

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Abstract

Programmed -1 ribosomal frameshifting (-1 PRF) is used by many positive-strand RNA viruses for translation of required products. Despite extensive studies, it remains unresolved how cis-elements just downstream of the recoding site promote a precise level of frameshifting. The Umbravirus Pea enation mosaic virus RNA2 expresses its RNA polymerase by -1 PRF of the 5'-proximal ORF (p33). Three hairpins located in the vicinity of the recoding site are phylogenetically conserved among Umbraviruses. The central Recoding Stimulatory Element (RSE), located downstream of the p33 termination codon, is a large hairpin with two asymmetric internal loops. Mutational analyses revealed that sequences throughout the RSE and the RSE lower stem (LS) structure are important for frameshifting. SHAPE probing of mutants indicated the presence of higher order structure, and sequences in the LS may also adapt an alternative conformation. Long-distance pairing between the RSE and a 3' terminal hairpin was less critical when the LS structure was stabilized. A basal level of frameshifting occurring in the absence of the RSE increases to 72% of wild-type when a hairpin upstream of the slippery site is also deleted. These results suggest that suppression of frameshifting may be needed in the absence of an active RSE conformation.

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Gao, F., & Simon, A. E. (2016). Multiple Cis-acting elements modulate programmed -1 ribosomal frameshifting in Pea enation mosaic virus. Nucleic Acids Research, 44(2), 878–895. https://doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkv1241

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