Two ~135-nucleotide (nt) direct repeats flank the Rous sarcoma virus (RSV) oncogene src and are composed of two smaller repeats, dr1 (~100 nt) and dr2 (~36 nt). These sequences have been reported to contain cis-acting signals necessary for RNA packaging and elements that allow cytoplasmic accumulation of unspliced RNA (cytoplasmic transport elements). In this report, we show that avian fibroblasts infected with the Prague A strain of RSV with precise deletions of both dr1 elements express src and are transformed by this mutant virus but production of virus particles is very low and virus spread throughout the culture requires several weeks. We show that the replication defect is due to complex effects on viral RNA transport, viral RNA half-life, and virus particle assembly. The dr1 elements may contain binding sites for a permissive cell-specific factor(s) that facilitates efficient nuclear-cytoplasmic transport, RNA stability, and cytoplasmic utilization of unspliced viral RNA. The implications of these results for understanding the defects of nonpermissive virus infections in mammalian cells are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science