Post-transcription cleavage generates the 3' end of F17R transcripts in vaccinia virus.
Most vaccinia virus intermediate and late mRNAs possess 3' ends that are extremely heterogeneous in sequence. However, late mRNAs encoding the cowpox A-type inclusion protein (ATI), the second largest subunit of the RNA polymerase, and the late telomeric transcripts possess homogeneous 3' ends. In the case of the ATI mRNA, it has been shown that the homogeneous 3' end is generated by a post-transcriptional endoribonucleolytic cleavage event. We have determined that the F17R gene also produces homogeneous transcripts generated by a post-transcriptional cleavage event. Mapping of in vivo mRNA shows that the major 3' end of the F17R transcript maps 1262 nt downstream of the F17R translational start site. In vitro transcripts spanning the in vivo 3' end are cleaved in an in vitro reaction using extracts from virus infected cells, and the site of cleavage is the same both in vivo and in vitro. Cleavage is not observed using extract from cells infected in the presence of hydroxyurea; therefore, the cleavage factor is either virus-coded or virus-induced during the post-replicative phase of virus replication. The cis-acting sequence responsible for cleavage is orientation specific and the factor responsible for cleavage activity has biochemical properties similar to the factor required for cleavage of ATI transcripts. Partially purified cleavage factor generates cleavage products of expected size when either the ATI or F17R substrates are used in vitro, strongly suggesting that cleavage of both transcripts is mediated by the same factor.
D'Costa, SM; Antczak, JB; Pickup, DJ; Condit, RC
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