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A comprehensive RNA sequencing analysis of the adeno-associated virus (AAV) type 2 transcriptome reveals novel AAV transcripts, splice variants, and derived proteins

Item Type:Article
Title:A comprehensive RNA sequencing analysis of the adeno-associated virus (AAV) type 2 transcriptome reveals novel AAV transcripts, splice variants, and derived proteins
Creators Name:Stutika, C. and Gogol-Doering, A. and Botschen, L. and Mietzsch, M. and Weger, S. and Feldkamp, M. and Chen, W. and Heilbronn, R.
Abstract:Adeno-associated virus (AAV) is recognized for its bipartite life cycle with productive replication dependent on coinfection with adenovirus (Ad) and AAV latency being established in the absence of a helper virus. The shift from latent to Ad-dependent AAV replication is mostly regulated at the transcriptional level. The current AAV transcription map displays highly expressed transcripts as found upon coinfection with Ad. So far, AAV transcripts have only been characterized on the plus strand of the AAV single-stranded DNA genome. The AAV minus strand is assumed not to be transcribed. Here, we apply Illumina-based RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) to characterize the entire AAV2 transcriptome in the absence or presence of Ad. We find known and identify novel AAV transcripts, including additional splice variants, the most abundant of which leads to expression of a novel 18-kDa Rep/VP fusion protein. Furthermore, we identify for the first time transcription on the AAV minus strand with clustered reads upstream of the p5 promoter, confirmed by 5' rapid amplification of cDNA ends and RNase protection assays. The p5 promoter displays considerable activity in both directions, a finding indicative of divergent transcription. Upon infection with AAV alone, low-level transcription of both AAV strands is detectable and is strongly stimulated upon coinfection with Ad. IMPORTANCE: Next-generation sequencing (NGS) allows unbiased genome-wide analyses of transcription profiles, used here for an in depth analysis of the AAV2 transcriptome during latency and productive infection. RNA-Seq analysis led to the discovery of novel AAV transcripts and splice variants, including a derived, novel 18-kDa Rep/VP fusion protein. Unexpectedly, transcription from the AAV minus strand was discovered, indicative of divergent transcription from the p5 promoter. This finding opens the door for novel concepts of the switch between AAV latency and productive replication. In the absence of a suitable animal model to study AAV in vivo, combined in cellulae and in silico studies will help to forward the understanding of the unique, bipartite AAV life cycle.
Keywords:Adenoviridae, Cell Line, Dependovirus, Gene Expression Profiling, Genetic Promoter Regions, Protein Isoforms, RNA Sequence Analysis, RNA Splicing
Source:Journal of Virology
ISSN:0022-538X
Publisher:American Society for Microbiology (U.S.A.)
Volume:90
Number:3
Page Range:1278-1289
Date:February 2016
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1128/JVI.02750-15
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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