Molecular Evolution Activities

This is a comprehensive bibliography (under construction) of primary and secondary sources on the neutral theory of molecular evolution. It currently covers the period 1973-2001.

Author :

Chen, W.;Baric, R. S.

Year :


Title :

Function of a 5'-End Genomic Rna Mutation That Evolves During Persistent Mouse Hepatitis-Virus Infection in-Vitro

Journal :

Journal of Virology

Volume :


Issue :


Pages :


Date :


Short Title :

Function of a 5'-End Genomic Rna Mutation That Evolves During Persistent Mouse Hepatitis-Virus Infec

Alternate Journal :

J. Virol.

Custom 2 :


Abstract :

Persistently infected cultures of DBT cells were established with mouse hepatitis virus strain A59 (MHV-A59), and the evolution of the MHV leader RNA and 5' end of the genome was studied through 119 days postinfection. Sequence analysis of independent clones demonstrated an overall mutation frequency approaching 1.2 x 10(-3) to 6.7 x 10(-3). The rate of fixation of mutations was about 1.2 x 10(-5) to 7.6 x 10(-5) per nucleotide (nt) per day. In contrast to finding in bovine coronavirus, the MHV leader RNA sequences were extremely stable and did not evolve significantly during persistent infection. Rather, a 5' untranslated region (UTR) A-to-G mutation at nt 77 in the genomic RNA emerged by day 56 and accumulated until 50 to 80% of the genome-length molecules retained the mutation by 119 days postinfection. Although other 5'-end mutations were noted, only the nt 77 mutation was significantly associated with viral persistence in vitro. Mutations were also found in the 5' end of the p28 coding region, but no specific alterations accumulated in genome length molecules through 119 days postinfection. The 5' UTR nt 77 mutation resulted in an 18-amino-acid open reading frame (ORF) upstream of the ORF 1a AUG start site. By in vitro translation assays, the small ORF was not translated into detectable product but the mutation significantly enhanced translation of the downstream p28 ORF about 2.5-fold. Variant viruses, containing either the nt 77 A- to-G mutation (V16-ATG(+)) or wild-type sequences at this locus (V1-ATG(-)), were isolated at 119 days postinfection. The variant viruses replicated more efficiently than wild-type virus and were extremely cytolytic in DBT cells, suggesting that the A-to-G mutation did not encode a nonlytic or attenuated phenotype. Consistent with the in vitro translation results, a significant increase (similar to 3.5-fold) in p28 expression was also observed with the mutant virus (V16-ATG(+)) in DBT cells compared with that in wild-type controls. These data indicate that MHV persistence was significantly associated with mutation and evolution in the 5'-end UTR which enhanced the translation of the ORF 1a and potentially ORF 1b polyproteins which function in virus transcription and replication.

Notes :

Times Cited: 16 TE366 J VIROL
 -- contributed by John Beatty, March 29, 2002