Detection of virus-specific RNA-dependent RNA polymerase activity in extracts from cells infected with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus: in vitro synthesis of full-length viral RNA species

Frances V. Fuller-Pace (Lead / Corresponding author), Peter J. Southern

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We have developed an in vitro assay for the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) RNA-dependent RNA polymerease with ribonucleoprotein complexes extracted from acutely infected tissue culture cells. The RNA products synthesized in vitro corresponded in size to the full-length genomic L and S RNAs and subgenomic NP and GP mRNAs normally produced in vivo during acute LCMV infection. In a temporal analysis spanning the first 72 h of acute infection, the in vitro polymerase activity of ribonucleoprotein complexes was maximal at 16 h and declined significantly at later times. In contrast, the intracellular levels of the viral L protein (the putative polymerase protein) appeared to be maximal at 48 to 72 h postinfection. Our results suggest that the accumulation of L protein correlates with reduced viral replication and transcription at later times in acute infection and may be involved in the transition from acute to persistent LCMV infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1938-1944
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 1989


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