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J Korean Soc Virol. 2000 Mar;30(1):39-49. Korean. Original Article.
Yu CH , Lee YS , Lee HD , Park C , Park KY , Lee PW .

The genome of Hantaan virus, the prototype of the hantavirus genus, is composed of three segmented, single stranded negative sense RNA genome. The 5' and 3' termini of the Hantaan virus RNA genome contain noncoding regions (NCRs) that are highly conserved and complementary to form panhandle stuctures. There are some reports that these NCRs seems to control gene expression and viral replication in influenza virus and vesicular stomatitis virus. In this study, we examined whether NCRs in Hantaan virus play a role in expression of the viral nucleocapsid protein (Np) and foreign (luciferase) gene. The 5' and/or 3' NCR-deleted mutants were constructed and analysed. The Np expression of 5' NCR-deleted clone, it showed 40% reduction. To investigate the role of NCR in foreign gene expression, the clones which are replaced ORF of Hantaan viral Np gene with that of luciferase gene were constructed. The results were similar to those of the experiments using Np gene. These results suggest that 3' NCR is more important than 5' NCR in protein expression. To find out a critical region of 3' NCR in more important than 5' NCR in protein expression. To find out a critical region of 3' NCR in protein expression, several clones with a deleted part of 3' NCR were constructed and analyzed. The deletion of the conserved region in 3' NCR showed 20~30% decrease in Np expression. However there were no change in luciferase activities between clones with or without non-conserved region of 3' NCR. These results suggest that the 3' NCR of Hantaan virus S genome, especially conserved region in 3' NCR, plays and important role in the expression of Hantaan viral Np and foreign genes.

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