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Transcription and Transport of Virus-Specific Ribonucleic Acids in African Green Monkey Kidney Cells Abortively Infected with Type 2 Adenovirus

  • Joseph J. Lucas
  • Harold S. Ginsberg
Publication Date
Dec 01, 1972
  • Biology
  • Medicine


The techniques of deoxyribonucleic acid-ribonucleic acid (DNA-RNA) hybridization and immunological precipitation were used to compare the synthesis of adenovirus-specific macromolecules in African green monkey kidney (AGMK) cells infected with adenovirus, an abortive infection, and coinfected with both adenovirus and simian virus 40 (SV40), which renders the cells permissive for adenovirus replication. When viral protein synthesis was proceeding at its maximum rate, the incorporation of 14C-amino acids into adenovirus structural proteins was about 90 times greater in the doubly infected cells than in cells infected only with adenovirus. However, the rates of synthesis of virus-specific ribonucleic acid appeared to be comparable in the two infections at all times measured. A time-dependent increase in the rate of RNA synthesis observed late in the abortive infection was dependent upon the prior replication of viral DNA. Moreover, all virus-specific RNA species that are normally made late in a productive adenovirus infection (i.e., the true late and class II early RNA species) were also detected in the abortive infection. Adenovirus-specific RNA was detected by molecular hybridization in both the cytoplasm and nuclei of abortively infected cells. Comparable amounts of viral RNA were found in the cytoplasmic fractions of AGMK cells infected either with adenovirus or with both adenovirus and SV40. The results of hybridization-inhibition experiments clearly showed that there was a class of virus-specific RNA molecules, representing about 30% of the total, in the nucleus that was not transported to the cytoplasm. This class of RNA was also identified in similar amounts in productively infected human KB cells. The difference in the abilities of cytoplasmic and nuclear RNA to inhibit the hybridization of virus-specific RNA from whole cells was shown not to be due to a difference in the molecular size of the RNA species from the two cell fractions or to the specific loss of a cytoplasmic species during RNA extraction procedures.

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