Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

5 Functions of Replicating RNA in Cells Infected by RNA Bacteriophages

Hugh D. Robertson


During early studies of RNA bacteriophages, one of the most thoroughly investigated problems was the state of phage RNA in the infected cells. Numerous RNA molecules, complexes and structures which contained phage RNA were identified and various schemes for viral RNA synthesis proposed (Fenwick, Erikson and Franklin 1964; Erikson and Franklin 1966; Erikson, Fenwick and Franklin 1964; Kelly and Sinsheimer 1964; Ochoa et al. 1964; Lodish and Zinder 1966a,b; Lodish 1968a; Stavis and August 1970; Robertson and Zinder 1968; Engelhardt, Robertson and Zinder 1968). After extensive characterization of RNA in cells infected by mutant and wild-type RNA phages, it was possible to list several expected properties of intermediates in viral RNA synthesis. By 1968, it had become evident that much further knowledge of the various reactions that make up the phage RNA synthetic cycle in the cell would be necessary before it would be possible to predict which of many still viable models would be correct (August et al. 1968; Weissmann, Feix and Slor 1968; Spiegelman et al. 1968; Robertson and Zinder 1969). Despite many notable investigations concerning the biochemistry of a number of the crucial steps (Kamen 1970; Kondo, Gallerani and Weissmann 1970; Blumenthal, Landers and Weber 1972; Groner et al. 1972; Kamen et al. 1972; Rensing and August 1969; Cory, Spahr and Adams 1970; Schwyzer, Billeter and Weissmann 1972; Shapiro, Franze de Fernandez and August 1968), it is still not possible to choose the correct model.

It should have been evident from the beginning that there would...

Full Text: