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RNA molecules can adopt specific RNA triplex structures to execute critical biological functions. Human adenoviruses (HAdVs) are abundant pathogens encoding the essential, noncoding virus-associated RNA I (VA RNAI). Here, we employ a triplex-specific probing assay, based on the intercalating and cleaving agent benzoquinoquinoxaline 1, 10-phenanthroline (BQQ-OP), to unravel a potential RNA triplex formation in VA RNAI. The BQQ-OP cleavage of the pathogenic HAdV type 4 (HAdV-4) VA RNAI indicates that a potential triplex is formed involving the highly conserved stem 4 of the central domain and side stem 7. Further, the integrity of the HAdV-4 VA RNAI side stem 7 contributes to a potential triplex formation in vitro and virus growth in vivo. Collectively, we propose that the HAdV-4 VA RNAI can potentially form a biologically relevant triplex structure.


Helen Bergquist, Raviteja Inturi, Rula Zain, Tanel Punga. Structural Insights into Human Adenovirus Type 4 Virus-Associated RNA I. International journal of molecular sciences. 2022 Mar 13;23(6)

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PMID: 35328524

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