U1snRNP-mediated suppression of polyadenylation in conjunction with the RNA structure controls poly (A) site selection in foamy viruses

Schrom, Eva-Maria; Moschall, Rebecca; Hartl, Maximilian J.; Weitner, Helena; Fecher, David; Langemeier, Jörg; Bohne, Jens; Wöhrl, Birgitta M.; Bodem, Jochen
July 2013
Retrovirology;2013, Vol. 10 Issue 1, p1
Academic Journal
Background: During reverse transcription, retroviruses duplicate the long terminal repeats (LTRs). These identical LTRs carry both promoter regions and functional polyadenylation sites. To express full-length transcripts, retroviruses have to suppress polyadenylation in the 5'LTR and activate polyadenylation in the 3'LTR. Foamy viruses have a unique LTR structure with respect to the location of the major splice donor (MSD), which is located upstream of the polyadenylation signal. Results: Here, we describe the mechanisms of foamy viruses regulating polyadenylation. We show that binding of the U1 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (U1snRNP) to the MSD suppresses polyadenylation at the 5'LTR. In contrast, polyadenylation at the 3'LTR is achieved by adoption of a different RNA structure at the MSD region, which blocks U1snRNP binding and furthers RNA cleavage and subsequent polyadenylation. Conclusion: Recently, it was shown that U1snRNP is able to suppress the usage of intronic cryptic polyadenylation sites in the cellular genome. Foamy viruses take advantage of this surveillance mechanism to suppress premature polyadenylation at the 5'end of their RNA. At the 3'end, Foamy viruses use a secondary structure to presumably block access of U1snRNP and thereby activate polyadenylation at the end of the genome. Our data reveal a contribution of U1snRNP to cellular polyadenylation site selection and to the regulation of gene expression


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