Regulation ofmRNA splicing in Moloney murine sarcoma virus mutants

Maryellen de Mars, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Cells infected with the conditionally defective MuSVts110 mutant of Moloney murine sarcoma virus are transformed at 33$\sp\circ$C but appear morphologically normal at 39$\sp\circ$C. The molecular basis for this phenotype is as follows: MuSVts110 contains a 1487 nucleotide central deletion that has truncated the 3$\sp\prime$ end to the gag gene and the 5$\sp\prime$ end of the mos gene. The resulting gag-mos junction is out-of-frame and the v-mos protein is not expressed. At 33$\sp\circ$C or lower, a splicing event is activated such that a 431 base intron is removed to realign the gag and mos gene in-frame, allowing the expression of a transforming protein P85$\sp{gag-mos}$. Temperature-dependent splicing appeared to be an intrinsic property of MuSVts110 transcripts and not a general feature of pre-mRNA splicing in 6m2 cells since splicing activity of a heterologous transcript in the same cells did not vary with temperature. The possibility that the splice event was not temperature-sensitive, but that the accumulation of spliced transcript at the lower growth temperatures was due to its selective thermolability was ruled out as stability studies revealed that the relative turnover rates of the unspliced and spliced MuSVts110 transcripts were not affected by temperature. The consensus sequences containing the splice sites activated in the MuSVts110 mutant (5$\sp\prime$ gag and 3$\sp\prime$ mos) are present, but not utilized, in wild-type MuSV-124. To test the hypothesis that it was the reduction of the 1919 base intervening sequence in MuSV-124 to 431 bases in MuSVts110 which activated splicing, the identical 1487 base deletion was introduced into cloned wild-type MuSV-124 DNA to create the MuSVts110 equivalent, ts32. To examine conditions permissive for splicing, we assayed splice site activation in a series of MuSV-124 "intron-modification" mutants. Data suggest that splicing in wild-type MuSV-124 may be blocked due to the lack of a proximal branchpoint sequence, but can be activated by those intron mutations which reposition a branch site closer to the 3$\sp\prime$ splice site. (Abstract shortened with permission of author.)

Subject Area

Molecular biology

Recommended Citation

de Mars, Maryellen, "Regulation ofmRNA splicing in Moloney murine sarcoma virus mutants" (1989). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9033100.