Functional RNA Structures in the 3'UTR of Tick-Borne, Insect-Specific and No-Known-Vector Flaviviruses

Viruses. 2019 Mar 24;11(3):298. doi: 10.3390/v11030298.


Untranslated regions (UTRs) of flaviviruses contain a large number of RNA structural elements involved in mediating the viral life cycle, including cyclisation, replication, and encapsidation. Here we report on a comparative genomics approach to characterize evolutionarily conserved RNAs in the 3 ' UTR of tick-borne, insect-specific and no-known-vector flaviviruses in silico. Our data support the wide distribution of previously experimentally characterized exoribonuclease resistant RNAs (xrRNAs) within tick-borne and no-known-vector flaviviruses and provide evidence for the existence of a cascade of duplicated RNA structures within insect-specific flaviviruses. On a broader scale, our findings indicate that viral 3 ' UTRs represent a flexible scaffold for evolution to come up with novel xrRNAs.

Keywords: flavivirus; non-coding RNA; secondary structure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3' Untranslated Regions*
  • Animals
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Flavivirus / genetics*
  • Genomics*
  • Insecta / virology*
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • RNA, Untranslated / chemistry
  • RNA, Untranslated / genetics
  • RNA, Viral / chemistry*
  • RNA, Viral / genetics


  • 3' Untranslated Regions
  • RNA, Untranslated
  • RNA, Viral