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Formation of metastable RNA structures by sequential folding during transcription: time-resolved structural analysis of potato spindle tuber viroid (-)-stranded RNA by temperature-gradient gel electrophoresis
Institut für Physikalische Biologie, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Germany.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7173-5579
Institut für Physikalische Biologie, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Germany.
Institut für Physikalische Biologie, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Germany.
Institut für Physikalische Biologie, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Germany.
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1999 (English)In: RNA: A publication of the RNA Society, ISSN 1355-8382, E-ISSN 1469-9001, Vol. 5, no 4, p. 574-84Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A model of functional elements critical for replication and infectivity of the potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd) was proposed earlier: a thermodynamically metastable structure containing a specific hairpin (HP II) in the (-)-strand replication intermediate is essential for template activity during (+)-strand synthesis. We present here a detailed kinetic analysis on how PSTVd (-)-strands fold during synthesis by sequential folding into a variety of metastable structures that rearrange only slowly into the structure distribution of the thermodynamic equilibrium. Synthesis of PSTVd (-)-strands was performed by T7-RNA-polymerase; the rate of synthesis was varied by altering the concentration of nucleoside triphosphates to mimic the in vivo synthesis rate of DNA-dependent RNA polymerase II. With dependence on rate and duration of the synthesis, the structure distributions were analyzed by temperature-gradient gel electrophoresis (TGGE). Metastable structures are generated preferentially at low transcription rates--similar to in vivo rates--or at short transcription times at higher rates. Higher transcription rates or longer transcription times lead to metastable structures in low or undetectable amounts. Instead different structures do gradually appear having a more rod-like shape and higher thermodynamic stability, and the thermodynamically optimal rod-like structure dominates finally. It is concluded that viroids are able to use metastable as well as stable structures for their biological functions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York, USA: Cambridge University Press, 1999. Vol. 5, no 4, p. 574-84
Keywords [en]
Kinetics; rate of transcription; RNA secondary structure; structure formation
National Category
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-40658DOI: 10.1017/S1355838299982018ISI: 000079504500009PubMedID: 10199573Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-0032900052OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-40658DiVA, id: diva2:778250
Available from: 2015-01-09 Created: 2015-01-09 Last updated: 2018-01-30Bibliographically approved

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