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Allelic RNA Motifs in Regulating Systemic Trafficking of Potato Spindle Tuber Viroid.

Allelic RNA Motifs in Regulating Systemic Trafficking of Potato Spindle Tuber Viroid.
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Takeda R, Zirbel CL, Leontis NB, Wang Y, Ding B,


Takeda R, Zirbel CL, Leontis NB, Wang Y, Ding B, (click to view)

Takeda R, Zirbel CL, Leontis NB, Wang Y, Ding B,

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Viruses 2018 03 3010(4) pii E160
Abstract

Intercellular RNA trafficking has been shown as a widely-existing phenomenon that has significant functions in many aspects of biology. Viroids, circular noncoding RNAs that cause plant diseases, have been a model to dissect the role of RNA structural motifs in regulating intercellular RNA trafficking in plants. Recent studies on potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd) showed that the RNA motif loop 19 is important for PSTVd to spread from palisade to spongy mesophyll in infected leaves. Here, we performed saturated mutational analysis to uncover all possible functional variants of loop 19 and exploit this data to pinpoint to a three-dimensional structural model of this motif. Interestingly, we found that two distinct structural motifs can replace loop 19 and retain the systemic trafficking capacity. One of the alternative structures rapidly emerged from the inoculation using a loop 19 abolished mutant that is not capable of systemic trafficking. Our observation indicates the flexibility of multiple structural arrangements interchangeably exerting similar function at a particular RNA locus. Taken together, this study deepens the understanding of RNA structural motifs-regulated viroid RNA trafficking, which has broad implications for studying RNA intercellular trafficking as well.

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