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Viruses 2012, 4(10), 2233-2250; doi:10.3390/v4102233

RNA Structural Elements of Hepatitis C Virus Controlling Viral RNA Translation and the Implications for Viral Pathogenesis

Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa, Nicolas Cabrera, 1, Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain
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Received: 27 August 2012 / Revised: 26 September 2012 / Accepted: 1 October 2012 / Published: 19 October 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hepatitis C Pathology)
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Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genome multiplication requires the concerted action of the viral RNA, host factors and viral proteins. Recent studies have provided information about the requirement of specific viral RNA motifs that play an active role in the viral life cycle. RNA regulatory motifs controlling translation and replication of the viral RNA are mostly found at the 5' and 3' untranslated regions (UTRs). In particular, viral protein synthesis is under the control of the internal ribosome entry site (IRES) element, a complex RNA structure located at the 5'UTR that recruits the ribosomal subunits to the initiator codon. Accordingly, interfering with this RNA structural motif causes the abrogation of the viral cycle. In addition, RNA translation initiation is modulated by cellular factors, including miRNAs and RNA-binding proteins. Interestingly, a RNA structural motif located at the 3'end controls viral replication and establishes long-range RNA-RNA interactions with the 5'UTR, generating functional bridges between both ends on the viral genome. In this article, we review recent advances on virus-host interaction and translation control modulating viral gene expression in infected cells. View Full-Text
Keywords: hepatitis C; translation control; IRES; RNA structural elements; host factors hepatitis C; translation control; IRES; RNA structural elements; host factors
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Piñeiro, D.; Martinez-Salas, E. RNA Structural Elements of Hepatitis C Virus Controlling Viral RNA Translation and the Implications for Viral Pathogenesis. Viruses 2012, 4, 2233-2250.

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