John F. Atkins

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The family Potyviridae includes >30% of known plant virus species, many of which are of great agricultural significance. These viruses have a positive sense RNA genome that is approximately 10 kb long and contains a single long ORF. The ORF is translated into a large polyprotein, which is cleaved into approximately 10 mature proteins. We report the(More)
Influenza A virus (IAV) infection leads to variable and imperfectly understood pathogenicity. We report that segment 3 of the virus contains a second open reading frame ("X-ORF"), accessed via ribosomal frameshifting. The frameshift product, termed PA-X, comprises the endonuclease domain of the viral PA protein with a C-terminal domain encoded by the X-ORF(More)
Flavivirus NS1 is a nonstructural protein involved in virus replication and regulation of the innate immune response. Interestingly, a larger NS1-related protein, NS1', is often detected during infection with the members of the Japanese encephalitis virus serogroup of flaviviruses. However, how NS1' is made and what role it performs in the viral life cycle(More)
Rat antizyme gene expression requires programmed, ribosomal frameshifting. A novel autoregulatory mechanism enables modulation of frameshifting according to the cellular concentration of polyamines. Antizyme binds to, and destabilizes, ornithine decarboxylase, a key enzyme in polyamine synthesis. Rapid degradation ensues, thus completing a regulatory(More)
A new reporter system has been developed for measuring translation coupling efficiency of recoding mechanisms such as frameshifting or readthrough. A recoding test sequence is cloned in between the renilla and firefly luciferase reporter genes and the two luciferase activities are subsequently measured in the same tube. The normalized ratio of the two(More)
Expression of the RNA replicase domain of tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) and certain protein-coding regions in other plant viruses, is mediated by translational readthrough of a leaky UAG stop codon. It has been proposed that normal tobacco tyrosine tRNAs are able to read the UAG codon of TMV by non-conventional base-pairing but recent findings that stop codons(More)
Current literature describes several methods for the design of efficient siRNAs with 19 perfectly matched base pairs and 2 nt overhangs. Using four independent databases totaling 3336 experimentally verified siRNAs, we compared how well several of these methods predict siRNA cleavage efficiency. According to receiver operating characteristics (ROC) and(More)
Because of their compact genomes, retroelements (including retrotransposons and retroviruses) employ a variety of translational recoding mechanisms to express Gag and Pol. To assess the diversity of recoding strategies, we surveyed gag/pol gene organization among retroelements from diverse host species, including elements exhaustively recovered from the(More)
The recently developed ribosome profiling technique (Ribo-Seq) allows mapping of the locations of translating ribosomes on mRNAs with subcodon precision. When ribosome protected fragments (RPFs) are aligned to mRNA, a characteristic triplet periodicity pattern is revealed. We utilized the triplet periodicity of RPFs to develop a computational method for(More)
Japanese encephalitis, West Nile, Usutu and Murray Valley encephalitis viruses form a tight subgroup within the larger Flavivirus genus. These viruses utilize a single-polyprotein expression strategy, resulting in ~10 mature proteins. Plotting the conservation at synonymous sites along the polyprotein coding sequence reveals strong conservation peaks at the(More)