We showed that WT adeno-associated virus serotype 2 (AAV2) genome devoid of a conventional polyadenylation [poly(A)] signal underwent complete genome replication, encapsidation and progeny virion production in the presence of adenovirus. The infectivity of the progeny virion was also retained. Using recombinant AAV2 vectors devoid of a human growth hormone poly(A) signal, we also demonstrated that a subset of mRNA transcripts contained the inverted terminal repeat (ITR) sequence at the 39 end, which we designated ITR in RNA (ITRR). Furthermore, AAV replication (Rep) proteins were able to interact with the ITRR. Taken together, our studies suggest a new function of the AAV2 ITR as an RNA element to mediate transgene expression from poly(A)-deleted mRNA.
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© 2015 The Authors.