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Nucleic Acid Packaging of RNA Viruses

Molecular Biology of Specific Organisms

  1. Markus Jaakko Pirttimaa,
  2. Dennis Henry Bamford

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/3527600906.mcb.200300174

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

How to Cite

Pirttimaa, M. J. and Bamford, D. H. 2006. Nucleic Acid Packaging of RNA Viruses. Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine. .

Author Information

  1. University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

Abstract

Viruses are obligate intracellular parasites composed of virus-specific nucleic acid and a protective coat. During virus assembly, the critical stage is the specific recognition of the viral genome with the maturing virus capsid leading to encapsidation (packaging) of the genome to the protective capsid. The formed and released viral particle is metastable, being primed to deliver the genome upon interaction with a new host cell. Viruses with an RNA genome either condense their nucleic acid concomitantly with the capsid assembly or produce empty capsids (procapsids), which translocate the viral genome into the particle in reaction requiring chemical energy in a form of NTPs. RNA viruses can have one to twelve genome segments. It is obvious that very delegate mechanisms have evolved to assure specific packaging of the entire genome either to a single or several particles.

Keywords:

  • Viral RNA-protein Interactions;
  • Virus Genome;
  • Virus Genome Packaging