Author(s): Jang MY, Yarborough OH rd, Conyers GB, McPhie P, Owens RA
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Adeno-associated virus serotype 2 (AAV-2) can preferentially integrate its DNA into a 4-kb region of human chromosome 19, designated AAVS1. The nicking activity of AAV-2's Rep68 or Rep78 proteins is essential for preferential integration. These proteins nick at the viral origin of DNA replication and at a similar site within AAVS1. The current nicking model suggests that the strand containing the nicking site is separated from its complementary strand prior to nicking. In AAV serotypes 1 through 6, the nicking site is flanked by a sequence that is predicted to form a stem-loop with standard Watson-Crick base pairing. The region flanking the nicking site in AAVS1 (5'-GGCGGCGGT/TGGGGCTCG-3' [the slash indicates the nicking site]) lacks extensive potential for Watson-Crick base pairing. We therefore performed an empirical search for a stable secondary structure. By comparing the migration of radiolabeled oligonucleotides containing wild-type or mutated sequences from the AAVS1 nicking site to appropriate standards, on native and denaturing polyacrylamide gels, we have found evidence that this region forms a stable secondary structure. Further confirmation was provided by circular dichroism analyses. We identified six bases that appear to be important in forming this putative secondary structure. Mutation of five of these bases, within the context of a double-stranded nicking substrate, reduces the ability of the substrate to be nicked by Rep78 in vitro. Four of these five bases are outside the previously recognized GTTGG nicking site motif and include parts of the CTC motif that has been demonstrated to be important for integration targeting.
This article was published in J Virol
and referenced in Journal of Molecular and Genetic Medicine