Transcription and RNA replication of tacaribe virus genome and antigenome analogs require N and L proteins: Z protein is an inhibitor of these processes

Journal of Virology
Nora LopezMaria T Franze-Fernandez


Tacaribe virus (TV), the prototype of the New World group of arenaviruses, comprises a single phylogenetic lineage together with four South American pathogenic producers of hemorrhagic disease. The TV genome consists of two single-stranded RNA segments called S and L. A reconstituted transcription-replication system based on plasmid-supplied TV-like RNAs and TV proteins was established. Plasmid expression was driven by T7 RNA polymerase supplied by a recombinant vaccinia virus. Plasmids were constructed to produce TV S segment analogs containing the negative-sense copy of chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) flanked at the 5' and 3' termini by sequences corresponding to those of the 5' and 3' noncoding regions of the S genome (minigenome) or the S antigenome (miniantigenome). In cells expressing N and L proteins, input minigenome or miniantigenome produced, respectively, encapsidated miniantigenome or minigenome which in turn produced progeny minigenome or progeny miniantigenome. Both minigenome and miniantigenome in the presence of N and L mediated transcription, which was analyzed as CAT expression. Coexpression of the small RING finger Z (p11) protein was highly inhibitory to both transcription and replication mediated by...Continue Reading


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