Viroids are small autonomously replicating plant pathogens consisting of non-encapsidated, circular, single-stranded RNA. Viroid RNA does not code for proteins; therefore their primary function is to interact with host proteins or other RNAs to carry out replication and pathogenesis. The potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd) is composed of 359 nucleotides and adopts a rod-like secondary structure. The viroid has a central conserved region that contains a loop E motif. During various stages of viroid replication, the loop E motif takes on different folds, even though the sequence of the monomer remains unchanged. The fold of the loop E sequence dictates the cleavage and ligation that create the final infectious viroid circle. Although the loop E motif of PSTVd has been indicated as an important aspect of viroid replication, no direct evidence of what stabilizes the motif in certain folds of replication has been shown. We show the contribution of component base pairs to stability using susceptibility to chemical probes of both wild-type and mutated loop E sequences.
|School:||University of the Sciences in Philadelphia|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-B 78/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Plant Pathology, Biochemistry|
|Keywords:||Plant pathogens, RNA motifs, Virioids|
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