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  • 2010-2014  (1)
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    Oxford University Press
    Publication Date: 2014-08-15
    Description: The dicistrovirus intergenic internal ribosome entry site (IGR IRES) directly recruits the ribosome and initiates translation using a non-AUG codon. A subset of IGR IRESs initiates translation in either of two overlapping open reading frames (ORFs), resulting in expression of the 0 frame viral structural polyprotein and an overlapping +1 frame ORFx. A U–G base pair adjacent to the anticodon-like pseudoknot of the IRES directs +1 frame translation. Here, we show that the U-G base pair is not absolutely required for +1 frame translation. Extensive mutagenesis demonstrates that 0 and +1 frame translation can be uncoupled. Ribonucleic acid (RNA) structural probing analyses reveal that the mutant IRESs adopt distinct conformations. Toeprinting analysis suggests that the reading frame is selected at a step downstream of ribosome assembly. We propose a model whereby the IRES adopts conformations to occlude the 0 frame aminoacyl-tRNA thereby allowing delivery of the +1 frame aminoacyl-tRNA to the A site to initiate translation of ORFx. This study provides a new paradigm for programmed recoding mechanisms that increase the coding capacity of a viral genome.
    Print ISSN: 0305-1048
    Electronic ISSN: 1362-4962
    Topics: Biology
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