Author(s): Polson AG, Ley HL rd, Bass BL, Casey JL
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Abstract RNA editing at adenosine 1012 (amber/W site) in the antigenomic RNA of hepatitis delta virus (HDV) allows two essential forms of the viral protein, hepatitis delta antigen (HDAg), to be synthesized from a single open reading frame. Editing at the amber/W site is thought to be catalyzed by one of the cellular enzymes known as adenosine deaminases that act on RNA (ADARs). In vitro, the enzymes ADAR1 and ADAR2 deaminate adenosines within many different sequences of base-paired RNA. Since promiscuous deamination could compromise the viability of HDV, we wondered if additional deamination events occurred within the highly base paired HDV RNA. By sequencing cDNAs derived from HDV RNA from transfected Huh-7 cells, we determined that the RNA was not extensively modified at other adenosines. Approximately 0.16 to 0.32 adenosines were modified per antigenome during 6 to 13 days posttransfection. Interestingly, all observed non-amber/W adenosine modifications, which occurred mostly at positions that are highly conserved among naturally occurring HDV isolates, were found in RNAs that were also modified at the amber/W site. Such coordinate modification likely limits potential deleterious effects of promiscuous editing. Neither viral replication nor HDAg was required for the highly specific editing observed in cells. However, HDAg was found to suppress editing at the amber/W site when expressed at levels similar to those found during HDV replication. These data suggest HDAg may regulate amber/W site editing during virus replication.
This article was published in Mol Cell Biol
and referenced in Journal of Computer Science & Systems Biology