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Flores, R., Gago-Zachert, S., De la Peña, M. & Navarro, B. Chrysanthemum chlorotic mottle viroid. In: Viroids and Satellite. - Academic Press (Ed. A. Hadidi, et al.). 331-338, (2017) ISBN: eBook ISBN: 9780128017029; Hardcover ISBN: 9780128014981.

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Publikation

López-Carrasco, A., Gago-Zachert, S., Mileti, G., Minoia, S., Flores, R. & Delgado, S. The transcription initiation sites of eggplant latent viroid strands map within distinct motifs in their in vivo RNA conformations RNA Biology 13, 83-97, (2016) DOI: 10.1080/15476286.2015.1119365

Eggplant latent viroid (ELVd), like other members of family Avsunviroidae, replicates in plastids through a symmetric rolling-circle mechanism in which elongation of RNA strands is most likely catalyzed by a nuclear-encoded polymerase (NEP) translocated to plastids. Here we have addressed where NEP initiates transcription of viroid strands. Because this step is presumably directed by sequence/structural motifs, we have previously determined the conformation of the monomeric linear (+) and (−) RNAs of ELVd resulting from hammerhead-mediated self-cleavage. In silico predictions with 3 softwares led to similar bifurcated conformations for both ELVd strands. In vitro examination by non-denaturing PAGE showed that they migrate as prominent single bands, with the ELVd (+) RNA displaying a more compact conformation as revealed by its faster electrophoretic mobility. In vitro SHAPE analysis corroborated the ELVd conformations derived from thermodynamics-based predictions in silico. Moreover, sequence analysis of 94 full-length natural ELVd variants disclosed co-variations, and mutations converting canonical into wobble pairs or vice versa, which confirmed in vivo most of the stems predicted in silico and in vitro, and additionally helped to introduce minor structural refinements. Therefore, results from the 3 experimental approaches were essentially consistent among themselves. Application to RNA preparations from ELVd-infected tissue of RNA ligase-mediated rapid amplification of cDNA ends, combined with pretreatments to modify the 5′ ends of viroid strands, mapped the transcription initiation sites of ELVd (+) and (−) strands in vivo at different sequence/structural motifs, in contrast with the situation previously observed in 2 other members of the family Avsunviroidae.

Publikation

Flores, R., Gago-Zachert, S., Serra, P., Sanjuán, R. & Elena, S. F. Viroids: Survivors from the RNA World? Annual Rev Microbiol 68, 395 - 414, (2014) DOI: 10.1146/annurev-micro-091313-103416

Because RNA can be a carrier of genetic information and a biocatalyst, there is a consensus that it emerged before DNA and proteins, which eventually assumed these roles and relegated RNA to intermediate functions. If such a scenario—the so-called RNA world—existed, we might hope to find its relics in our present world. The properties of viroids that make them candidates for being survivors of the RNA world include those expected for primitive RNA replicons: (a) small size imposed by error-prone replication, (b) high G+ C content to increase replication fidelity, (c) circular structure for assuring complete replication without genomic tags, (d) structural periodicity for modular assembly into enlarged genomes, (e) lack of protein-coding ability consistent with a ribosome-free habitat, and (f) replication mediated in some by ribozymes, the fingerprint of the RNA world. With the advent of DNA and proteins, those protoviroids lost some abilities and became the plant parasites we now know.

Bücher und Buchkapitel

Carbonell, A., Flores, R. & Gago, S. Hammerhead Ribozymes Against Virus and Viroid RNAs. In: From Nucleic Acids Sequences to Molecular Medicine (Erdmann, V. A., Barciszewski, J.). Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 411-427, (2012)

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Publikation

Carbonell, A., Flores, R. & Gago, S. Trans-cleaving hammerhead ribozymes with tertiary stabilizing motifs: in vitro and in vivo activity against a structured viroid RNA. Nucleic Acids Res. 39, 2432-44, (2011) DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkq1051

Trans-cleaving hammerheads with discontinuous or extended stem I and with tertiary stabilizing motifs (TSMs) have been tested previously against short RNA substrates in vitro at low Mg2+ concentration. However, the potential of these ribozymes for targeting longer and structured RNAs in vitro and in vivo has not been examined. Here, we report the in vitro cleavage of short RNAs and of a 464-nt highly structured RNA from potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd) by hammerheads with discontinuous and extended formats at submillimolar Mg2+. Under these conditions, hammerheads derived from eggplant latent viroid and peach latent mosaic viroid (PLMVd) with discontinuous and extended formats, respectively, where the most active. Furthermore, a PLMVd-derived hammerhead with natural TSMs showed activity in vivo against the same long substrate and interfered with systemic PSTVd infection, thus reinforcing the idea that this class of ribozymes has potential to control pathogenic RNA replicons.

Publikation

Flores, R., Grubb, C.D., Elleuch, A., Nohales, M.A, Delgado, S. & Gago, S. Rolling-circle replication of viroids, viroid-like satellite RNAs and hepatitis delta virus RNA Biol 8(2), 200-206, (2011)

Viroids and viroid-like satellite RNAs from plants, and the human hepatitis delta virus (HDV) RNA share some properties that include small size, circularity and replication through a rolling-circle mechanism. Replication occurs in different cell compartments (nucleus, chloroplast and membrane-associated cytoplasmatic vesicles) and has three steps: RNA polymerization, cleavage and ligation. The first step generates oligomeric RNAs that result from the reiterative transcription of the circular templates of one or both polarities, and is catalyzed by either the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase of the helper virus on which viroid-like satellite RNAs are functionally dependent, or by host DNA-dependent RNA polymerases that, remarkably, viroids and HDV redirect to transcribe RNA templates. Cleavage is mediated by host enzymes in certain viroids and viroid-like satellite RNAs, while in others and in HDV is mediated by cis-acting ribozymes of three classes. Ligation appears to be catalyzed mainly by host enzymes. Replication most likely also involves many other non-catalytic proteins of host origin and, in HDV, the single virus-encoded protein.

Publikation

Carbonell, A., Flores, R. & Gago, S. In vivo and in vitro activity against a structured viroid RNA of trans-cleaving hammerhead ribozymes with tertiary stabilizing motifs Nucleic Acids Research 39, 2432-2444, (2011)

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Publikation

Flores, R., Gas, M.E., Molina-Serrano, D., Nohales, M.A., Carbonell, A., Gago, S., de la Peña, M. & Daròs, J.A. Viroid replication: rolling-circles, enzymes and ribozymes Viruses 1, 317-334, (2009) DOI: 10.3390/v1020317

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Publikation

Dufour, D., de la Peña, M., Gago, S., Flores, R. & Gallego, J. Structure-function analyses of the ribozyme of chrysanthemum chlorotic mottle viroid: a loop-loop interaction motif conserved in most natural hammerheads Nucleic Acids Research 37, 368-381, (2009)

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Publikation

Gago, S., Elena, S.F., Flores, R. & Sanjuán, R. Extremely high mutation rate of a hammerhead viroid Science 322, 1308, (2009)

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