Autolytic Processing of Dimeric Plant Virus Satellite RNA

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Science  28 Mar 1986:
Vol. 231, Issue 4745, pp. 1577-1580
DOI: 10.1126/science.231.4745.1577


Associated with some plant viruses are small satellite RNA's that depend on the plant virus to provide protective coat protein and presumably at least some of the proteins necessary for satellite RNA replication. Multimeric forms of the satellite RNA of tobacco ringspot virus are probable in vivo precursors of the monomeric satellite RNA. Evidence is presented for the in vitro autolytic processing of dimeric and trimeric forms of this satellite RNA. The reaction generates biologically active monomeric satellite RNA, apparently is reversible to form dimeric RNA from monomeric RNA, and does not require an enzyme for its catalysis.