Common RNA replication signals exist among group 2 coronaviruses: Evidence for in vivo recombination between animal and human coronavius molecules

Hung Yi Wu, James S. Guy, Dongwan Yoo, Reinhard Vlasak, Ena Urbach, David A. Brian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

5′ and 3′ UTR sequences on the coronavirus genome are known to carry cis-acting elements for DI RNA replication and presumably also virus genome replication. 5′ UTR-adjacent coding sequences are also thought to harbor cis-acting elements. Here we have determined the 5′ UTR and adjacent 289-nt sequences, and 3′ UTR sequences, for six group 2 coronaviruses and have compared them to each other and to three previously reported group 2 members. Extensive regions of highly similar UTR sequences were found but small regions of divergence were also found indicating group 2 coronaviruses could be subdivided into those that are bovine coronavirus (BCoV)-like (BCoV, human respiratory coronavirus-OC43, human enteric coronavirus, porcine hemagglutinating encephalomyelitis virus, and equine coronavirus) and those that are murine hepatitis virus (MHV)-like (A59, 2, and JHM strains of MHV, puffinosis virus, and rat sialodacryoadenitis virus). The 3′ UTRs of BCoV and MHV have been previously shown to be interchangeable. Here, a reporter-containing BCoV DI RNA was shown to be replicated by all five BCoV-like helper viruses and by MHV-H2 (a human cell-adapted MHV strain), a representative of the MHV-like subgroup, demonstrating group 2 common 5′ and 3′ replication signaling elements. BCoV DI RNA, furthermore, acquired the leader of HCoV-OC43 by leader switching, demonstrating for the first time in vivo recombination between animal and human coronavirus molecules. These results indicate that common replication signaling elements exist among group 2 coronaviruses despite a two-cluster pattern within the group and imply there could exist a high potential for recombination among group members.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-183
Number of pages10
JournalVirology
Volume315
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 10 2003
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • DI RNA
  • Group 2 coronaviruses
  • Leader switching
  • RNA replication signals
  • RdRp promoter
  • Recombination between human and animal coronaviruses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology

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