Home » Uncategorized » Identification of conserved RNA secondary structures at influenza B and C splice sites reveals similarities and differences between influenza A, B, and C

Identification of conserved RNA secondary structures at influenza B and C splice sites reveals similarities and differences between influenza A, B, and C

Identification of conserved RNA secondary structures at influenza B and C splice sites reveals similarities and differences between influenza A, B, and C

Background
Influenza B and C are single-stranded RNA viruses that cause yearly epidemics and
infections. Knowledge of RNA secondary structure generated by influenza B and C will be
helpful in further understanding the role of RNA structure in the progression of influenza
infection.
Findings
All available protein-coding sequences for influenza B and C were analyzed for regions with
high potential for functional RNA secondary structure. On the basis of conserved RNA
secondary structure with predicted high thermodynamic stability, putative structures were
identified that contain splice sites in segment 8 of influenza B and segments 6 and 7 of
influenza C. The sequence in segment 6 also contains three unused AUG start codon sites that
are sequestered within a hairpin structure.
Conclusions
When added to previous studies on influenza A, the results suggest that influenza splicing
may share common structural strategies for regulation of splicing. In particular, influenza 3′
splice sites are predicted to form secondary structures that can switch conformation to
regulate splicing. Thus, these RNA structures present attractive targets for therapeutics aimed
at targeting one or the other conformation

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