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A previous study of the 12 nucleotide-long influenza A virion RNA promoter has shown that three nucleotides, residues 9 to 11, were crucial for transcription in vitro, although other nucleotides play a significant but less important role. A model for polymerase-promoter recognition was proposed, according to which there were two sites: a binding site at residues 9 to 11 and a regulatory site at or near the site of initiation at residue 1. By studying the effect of point mutations in the promoter on the binding efficiency of the polymerase using a photochemical cross-linking assay, we now show that residues 9 to 12 are crucial for binding. In addition residues 4 to 8, though not as important, are involved in binding, possibly by stabilizing the polymerase-promoter complex. Both PB1 and PB2 apparently play an important role during virion RNA promoter recognition and binding.

Original publication




Journal article


J Gen Virol

Publication Date



74 ( Pt 7)


1327 - 1333


Animals, Base Sequence, Binding Sites, Binding, Competitive, Conserved Sequence, Cross-Linking Reagents, DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases, Influenza A virus, Kinetics, Molecular Sequence Data, Mutagenesis, Insertional, Mutagenesis, Site-Directed, Photochemistry, Point Mutation, Promoter Regions, Genetic, RNA, Viral, Rabbits, Templates, Genetic, Virion