The Sendai virus P gene expresses both an essential protein and an inhibitor of RNA synthesis by shuffling modules via mRNA editing

EMBO J. 1991 Oct;10(10):3079-85.


The P gene of Sendai virus expresses as many as eight proteins, two of which (V and W) are expressed only from edited mRNAs; only the P protein is known to be involved in RNA synthesis. To examine the functions of the other P gene proteins, we developed an in vivo system in which genome replication is driven by plasmid generated viral proteins. We found that P was essential for this process, whereas V and W were not only non-essential, they were inhibitory. By using various P gene deletions and varying the amounts of plasmids transfected, we provide evidence that P is a modular protein. The N-terminal domain (shared with V and W) binds the L or polymerase protein, whereas the C-terminal domain binds the nucleoprotein NP. A model of paramyxovirus RNA synthesis is presented, and the implications of negative regulation during persistent infection are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Northern
  • Blotting, Western
  • Chromosome Deletion
  • Genes, Viral
  • Parainfluenza Virus 1, Human / genetics*
  • Phosphoproteins / genetics*
  • Plasmids
  • RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional*
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • RNA, Viral / biosynthesis*
  • RNA, Viral / metabolism
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Transfection
  • Viral Proteins / genetics*
  • Viral Proteins / metabolism


  • P protein, Sendai virus
  • Phosphoproteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Viral
  • Viral Proteins