Eukaryotic coupled translation of tandem cistrons: Identificaiton of the influenza B virus BM2 polypeptide

C. M. Horvath, M. A. Williams, R. A. Lamb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous nucleotide sequence analysis of RNA segment 7 of influenza B virus indicated that, in addition to the reading frame encoding the 248 amiono acid M1 protein, there is a second overlapping reading frame (BM2ORF) of 585 nucleotides that has the coding capacity for 195 amino acids. To search for a polypeptide product derived from BM2ORF, a genetically engineered β-galactosidase-BM2ORF fusion protein was expressed in Escherichia coli and a polyclonal rabbit antiserum was raised to the purified fusion protein. This antiserum was used to identify a polypeptide, designated BM2 protein (M(R) ~ 12 000), that is synthesized in influenza B virus-infected cells. To understand the mechanism by which the BM2 protein is generated from influenza B virus RNA segment 7, a mutational analysis of the cloned DNA was performed and the altered DNAs were expressed in eukaryotic cells. The expression patterns of the M1 and BM2 proteins from the altered DNAs indicate that the BM2 protein initiation codon overlaps with the termination codon of the M1 protein in an overlapping translational stop-start pentanucleotide, TAATG, and that the expression of the BM2 protein requires 5'-adjacent termination of M1 synthesis. Our data suggest that a termination-reinitiation scheme is used in translation of a bicistronic mRNA derived from influenza B virus RNA segment 7, and this strategy has some analogy to prokaryotic coupled stop-start translation of tandem cistrons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2639-2647
Number of pages9
JournalEMBO Journal
Volume9
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1990

Keywords

  • BM2 protein
  • overlapping reading frames
  • translation stop-start

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

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