Journal article

A compensatory mutagenesis study of a conserved hairpin in the M gene segment of influenza A virus shows its role in virus replication

MI Spronken, CE van de Sandt, EP de Jongh, O Vuong, S van der Vliet, TM Bestebroer, RCL Olsthoorn, GF Rimmelzwaan, RAM Fouchier, AP Gultyaev

RNA Biology | TAYLOR & FRANCIS INC | Published : 2017


RNA structures are increasingly recognized to be of importance during influenza A virus replication. Here, we investigated a predicted conserved hairpin in the M gene segment (nt 967-994) within the region of the vRNA 5' packaging signal. The existence of this RNA structure and its possible role in virus replication was investigated using a compensatory mutagenesis approach. Mutations were introduced in the hairpin stem, based on natural variation. Virus replication properties were studied for the mutant viruses with disrupted and restored RNA structures. Viruses with structure-disrupting mutations had lower virus titers and a significantly reduced median plaque size when compared with the w..

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