Date Published:2017 Apr 04
Human adenoviruses (HAdVs) shut down host cellular cap-dependent mRNA translation while initiating the translation of viral late mRNAs in a cap-independent manner. HAdV 5' untranslated regions (5'UTRs) are crucial for cap-independent initiation, and influence mRNA localization and stability. However, HAdV translational regulation remains relatively uncharacterized. The HAdV tripartite leader (TPL), composed of three introns (TPL 1-3), is critical to the translation of HAdV late mRNA. Herein, we annotated and analyzed 72 HAdV genotypes for the HAdV TPL and another previously described leader, the i-leader. Using HAdV species D, type 37 (HAdV-D37), we show by reverse transcription PCR and Sanger sequencing that mRNAs of the HAdV-D37 E3 transcription unit are spliced to the TPL. We also identified a polycistronic mRNA for RID-α and RID-β. Analysis of the i-leader revealed a potential open reading frame within the leader sequence and the termination of this potential protein in TPL3. A potential new leader embedded within the E3 region was also detected and tentatively named the j-leader. These results suggest an underappreciated complexity of post-transcriptional regulation, and the importance of HAdV 5'UTRs for precisely coordinated viral protein expression along the path from genotype to phenotype.