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Cell-Dependent Role for the Poliovirus 3′ Noncoding Region in Positive-Strand RNA Synthesis

Journal of Virology
American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1128/jvi.78.3.1344-1351.2004
  • Virus-Cell Interactions
  • Biology


We previously reported the isolation of a mutant poliovirus lacking the entire genomic RNA 3′ noncoding region. Infection of HeLa cell monolayers with this deletion mutant revealed only a minor defect in the levels of viral RNA replication. To further analyze the consequences of the genomic 3′ noncoding region deletion, we examined viral RNA replication in a neuroblastoma cell line, SK-N-SH cells. The minor genomic RNA replication defect in HeLa cells was significantly exacerbated in the SK-N-SH cells, resulting in a decreased capacity for mutant virus growth. Analysis of the nature of the RNA replication deficiency revealed that deleting the poliovirus genomic 3′ noncoding region resulted in a positive-strand RNA synthesis defect. The RNA replication deficiency in SK-N-SH cells was not due to a major defect in viral translation or viral protein processing. Neurovirulence of the mutant virus was determined in a transgenic mouse line expressing the human poliovirus receptor. Greater than 1,000 times more mutant virus was required to paralyze 50% of inoculated mice, compared to that with wild-type virus. These data suggest that, together with a cellular factor(s) that is limiting in neuronal cells, the poliovirus 3′ noncoding region is involved in positive-strand synthesis during genome replication.

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