Conserved elements in the 3' untranslated region of flavivirus RNAs and potential cyclization sequences

J Mol Biol. 1987 Nov 5;198(1):33-41. doi: 10.1016/0022-2836(87)90455-4.


We have isolated a cDNA clone after reverse transcription of the genomic RNA of Asibi yellow fever virus whose structure suggests it was formed by self-priming from a 3'-terminal hairpin of 87 nucleotides in the genomic RNA. We have also isolated a clone from cDNA made to Murray Valley encephalitis virus RNA that also appears to have arisen by self-priming from a 3'-terminal structure very similar or identical to that of yellow fever. In addition, 3'-terminal sequencing of the S1 strain of dengue 2 RNA shows that this RNA is also capable of forming a 3'-terminal hairpin of 79 nucleotides. Furthermore, we have identified two 20-nucleotide sequence elements which are present in the 3' untranslated region of all three viruses; one of these sequence elements is repeated in Murray Valley encephalitis and dengue 2 RNA but not in yellow fever RNA. In all three viruses, which represent the three major serological subgroups of the mosquito-borne flaviviruses, the 3'-proximal conserved sequence element, which is found immediately adjacent to the potential 3'-terminal hairpin, is complementary to another conserved domain near the 5' end of the viral RNAs, suggesting that flavivirus RNAs can cyclize (calculated delta G less than -11 kcal; 1 kcal = 4.184 kJ).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Cyclization
  • Dengue Virus / genetics
  • Flavivirus / genetics*
  • Models, Genetic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • RNA, Viral*
  • Yellow fever virus / genetics


  • RNA, Viral