A method is described which allows selection of sequences which can substitute for the normal AATAAA hexanucleotide involved in polyadenylation of SV40 late mRNAs. Plaques were generated from viral DNA lacking the motif, forcing acquisition of substitute sequences. Four variants wre characterized. All displayed wild-type growth kinetics and produced normal levels of late mRNAs and proteins. Two variants had reacquired AATAAA elements and one acquired an ATTAAA sequence. The last variant carried an ATTTTTTAAA segment, suggesting this novel sequence, or some portion of it, can also signal poly A addition.
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