Difference in 5′ terminal structure between the mRNA and the double-stranded virion RNA of reovirus

R. C. Desrosiers, G. C. Sen, P. Lengyel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In the course of reovirus replication the double-stranded virion RNA serves as a template for reovirus mRNA (+ strand) formation. The reovirus mRNA in turn serves as a template for the synthesis of the complementary (-) strand. The latter remains associated with the template, thus forming double-stranded virion RNA. The virion associated enzymes can be activated in vitro to synthesize reovirus mRNAs with an m7G(5′)ppp(5′)GmpCp... 5′ terminal structure (cap 1 structure). We find that about 50% of reovirus mRNAs formed in L cells (between 5 and 11 hours after infection) have m7G(5′)ppp(5′)GmpCmp... as their 5′ terminal structure (cap 2 structure); the rest have a cap 1 structure. Interestingly, the large majority (over 95%) of the + strands in reovirion double-stranded RNA have cap 1 structures at their 5′ termini. These observations may indicate that reo mRNAs serve as a template in double-stranded RNA formation before their cap 1 termini become converted to cap 2 termini. It is also possible, however, that mRNAs with cap 1 type 5′ termini are preferred templates for double-stranded RNA formation over those with cap 2 type 5′ termini.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-39
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical and biophysical research communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 8 1976
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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