Insertions of codons encoding basic amino acids in H7 hemagglutinins of influenza A viruses occur by recombination with RNA at hotspots near snoRNA binding sites

Alexander P Gultyaev*, Monique I Spronken, Mathis Funk, Ron A M Fouchier, Mathilde Richard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The presence of multiple basic amino acids in the protease cleavage site of the hemagglutinin (HA) protein is the main molecular determinant of virulence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses. Recombination of HA RNA with other RNA molecules of host or virus origin is a dominant mechanism of multibasic cleavage site (MBCS) acquisition for H7 subtype HA. Using alignments of HA RNA sequences from documented cases of MBCS insertion due to recombination, we show that such recombination with host RNAs is most likely to occur at particular hotspots in ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs), transfer RNAs (tRNAs), and viral RNAs. The locations of these hotspots in highly abundant RNAs indicate that RNA recombination is facilitated by the binding of small nucleolar RNA (snoRNA) near the recombination points.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-132
Number of pages10
JournalRna-A Publication of the Rna Society
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2021 Gultyaev et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press for the RNA Society.

Research programs

  • EMC OR-01

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