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Journal of Virology

Year: 2008  |  Volume: 82  |  Issue: 20  |  Page No.: 9951 - 9963

Block to the Production of Full-Length B19 Virus Transcripts by Internal Polyadenylation Is Overcome by Replication of the Viral Genome

Wuxiang Guan, Fang Cheng, Yuko Yoto, Steve Kleiboeker, Susan Wong, Ning Zhi, David J. Pintel and Jianming Qiu


The pre-mRNA processing strategy of the B19 virus is unique among parvoviruses. B19 virus-generated pre-mRNAs are transcribed from a single promoter and are extensively processed by alternative splicing and alternative polyadenylation to generate 12 transcripts. Blockage of the production of full-length B19 virus transcripts at the internal polyadenylation site [(pA)p] was previously reported to be a limiting step in B19 virus permissiveness. We show here that in the absence of genome replication, internal polyadenylation of B19 virus RNAs at (pA)p is favored in cells which are both permissive and nonpermissive for B19 viral replication. Replication of the B19 virus genome, however, introduced either by viral infection or by transfection of an infectious clone into permissive cells or forced by heterologous replication systems in nonpermissive cells, enhanced readthrough of (pA)p and the polyadenylation of B19 virus transcripts at the distal site [(pA)d]. Therefore, replication of the genome facilitates the generation of sufficient full-length transcripts that encode the viral capsid proteins and the essential 11-kDa nonstructural protein. Furthermore, we show that polyadenylation of B19 viral RNA at (pA)p likely competes with splicing at the second intron. Thus, we conclude that replication of the B19 virus genome is the primary limiting step governing B19 virus tropism.

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