Cap-independent translational enhancement of turnip crinkle virus genomic and subgenomic RNAs

Feng Qu, T. Jack Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Scopus citations


The presence of translational control elements and cap structures has not been carefully investigated for members of the Carmovirus genus, a group of small icosahedral plant viruses with positive-sense RNA genomes. In this study, we examined both the 5' and 3' untranslated regions (UTRs) of the turnip crinkle camovirus (TCV) genomic RNA (4 kb) as well as the 5' UTR of the coat protein subgenomic RNA (1.45 kb) for their roles in translational regulation. All three UTRs enhanced translation of the firefly luciferase reporter gene to different extents. Optimal translational efficiency was achieved when mRNAs contained both 5' and 3' UTRs. The synergistic effect due to the 5'-3' cooperation was at least fourfold greater than the sum of the contributions of the individual UTRs. The observed translational enhancement of TCV mRNAs occurred in a cap-independent manner, a result consistent with the demonstration, using a cap-specific antibody, that the 5' end of the TCV genomic RNA was uncapped. Finally, the translational enhancement activity within the 5' UTR of 1.45-kb subgenomic RNA was shown to be important for the translation of coat protein in protoplasts and for virulent infection in Arabidopsis plants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1085-1093
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology

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