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Yeast mutations in multiple complementation groups inhibit brome mosaic virus RNA replication and transcription and perturb regulated expression of the viral polymerase-like gene

Ishikawa, M., Diez, J., Restrepo-Hartwig, M., Ahlquist, P.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1997 v.94 no.25 pp. 13810-13815
genetic transformation, messenger RNA, Brome mosaic virus, mutagenesis, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, transcription (genetics), gene expression, viral proteins, genetic complementation, mutants, reporter genes, DNA-directed RNA polymerase, beta-glucuronidase
Brome mosaic virus (BMV), a member of the alphavirus-like superfamily of positive-strand RNA viruses, encodes two proteins, 1a and 2a, that interact with each other, with unidentified host proteins, and with host membranes to form the viral RNA replication complex. Yeast expressing 1a and 2a support replication and subgenomic mRNA synthesis by BMV RNA3 derivatives. Using a multistep selection and screening process, we have isolated yeast mutants in multiple complementation groups that inhibit BMV-directed gene expression. Three complementation groups, represented by mutants mab1-1, mab2-1, and mab3-1 (for maintenance of BMV functions), were selected for initial study. Each of these mutants has a single, recessive, chromosomal mutation that inhibits accumulation of positive- and negative-strand RNA3 and subgenomic mRNA. BMV-directed gene expression was inhibited when the RNA replication template was introduced by in vivo transcription from DNA or by transfection of yeast with in vitro transcripts, confirming that cytoplasmic RNA replication steps were defective. mab1-1, mab2-1, and mab3-1 slowed yeast growth to varying degrees and were temperature-sensitive, showing that the affected genes contribute to normal cell growth. In wild-type yeast, expression of the helicase-like 1a protein increased the accumulation of 2a mRNA and the polymerase-like 2a protein, revealing a new level of viral regulation. In association with their other effects, mab1-1 and mab2-1 blocked the ability of 1a to stimulate 2a mRNA and protein accumulation, whereas mab3-1 had elevated 2a protein accumulation. Together, these results show that BMV RNA replication in yeast depends on multiple host genes, some of which directly or indirectly affect the regulated expression and accumulation of 2a.