Synthesis of a 600-nucleotide-long plus-strand DNA by virions of Moloney murine leukemia virus

Mitra, Sudha W.; Goff, Stephen P.; Gilboa, Eli; Baltimore, David

A discrete, 600-nucleotide-long plus-strand DNA has been identified among the products of reverse transcription by virions of Moloney murine leukemia virus. Its polarity was shown by hybridization to minus-strand DNA. It appears to be copied from the right end of minus-strand DNA because (i) its restriction endonuclease cleavage pattern corresponds to the redundant 600-base segment found at either end of the ultimate double-stranded reverse transcription products, (ii) its synthesis is actinomycin D sensitive, and (iii) its synthesis begins during the first hour of a reverse transcription reaction when only the right-hand end of minus-strand DNA is available as template. We therefore call this DNA plus-strong-stop DNA by analogy with the minus-strong-stop DNA copied from the left end of the viral RNA. Both strong-stop DNAs are made early during in vitro reactions and decline in concentration later, consistent with postulated roles as initiators of long minus- and plus-strand DNA. Unlike minus-strong-stop DNA, plus-strong-stop DNA remains as a double-stranded nucleic acid after its synthesis, as shown by S1 nuclease resistance. A primer to initiate plus-strong-stop DNA synthesis has not been identified; the product found thus far has no detectable RNA attached to it.


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Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
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October 23, 2018