Autonomous parvoviruses are thought to uniquely encapsidate single-stranded DNA of minus polarity. In contrast, the defective adeno-associated viruses separately encapsidate equal amounts of plus and minus DNA strands. We reexamined the uniqueness of minus strand encapsidation for the autonomous parvoviruses. Although we found that Kilham rat virus and H-1 virus encapsidate varying but small amounts of complementary-strand DNA, it was unexpected to find that LuIII virus encapsidated equal amounts of plus and minus DNA. The extracted LuIII DNA possessed properties of double-stranded replicative-form DNA, including insensitivity to S1 endonuclease, cleavage by restriction enzymes, and conversion to unit-length, single-stranded DNA when electrophoresed under denaturing conditions. However, the inability of this DNA to form single-stranded DNA circles when denatured and then renatured in the presence of formamide and the lack of double-stranded DNA circle formation after treatment with exonuclease III and reannealing shows a lack of sequence homology of the 3' and 5' termini of LuIII DNA, in contrast to adeno-associated virus DNA. Digestion of LuIII double-stranded DNA with EcoRI and HincII and separation of plus and minus DNA strands on composite agarose-acrylamide gels identified a heterogeneity present only in the plus DNA strand. These results suggest that strand specificity of viral DNA encapsidation is not a useful property for differentiation between the autonomous and defective parvoviruses. Furthermore, encapsidation by LuIII of equal amounts of complementary DNA strands in contrast to encapsidation of minus strands by H-1 virus, when propagated in the same host cell type, suggests that selection of strands for encapsidation is a virus-coded rather than host-controlled event.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science