Covalently closed circles of human adenovirus DNA are infectious.
- Additional Document Info
- View All
Replication of the linear adenovirus DNA molecule is thought to result from semiconservative synthesis off linear templates, starting from origins at either end of the genome. Recently, however, it has been shown that in cells infected with adenovirus type 5 (Ad5) a significant fraction of the ends of viral DNA molecules become joined head-to-tail due at least in part to the formation of covalently closed circles. Circular DNA is not present in virions but joining of the ends of viral DNA is detectable shortly after infection, well before the onset of viral DNA replication. To learn more about the structure and possible function of these circular forms of viral DNA, I have cloned Ad5 circles as plasmids replicating in Escherichia coli. Two plasmids have been analyzed in detail and shown to generate infectious virus with an efficiency comparable with that of virion DNA following transfection into human cells. These results suggest that circles are not totally inert or functionless but that, once formed, they are capable of re-entering the pool of replicating molecules to generate linear progeny.
has subject area