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Viruses 2016, 8(9), 243; doi:10.3390/v8090243

Foamy Virus Protein—Nucleic Acid Interactions during Particle Morphogenesis

Institute of Virology, Medical Faculty Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany
CRTD/DFG—Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden, Technische Universität Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Roland Marquet and Polly Roy
Received: 29 June 2016 / Revised: 19 August 2016 / Accepted: 22 August 2016 / Published: 30 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Packaging)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [5206 KB, uploaded 30 August 2016]   |  


Compared with orthoretroviruses, our understanding of the molecular and cellular replication mechanism of foamy viruses (FVs), a subfamily of retroviruses, is less advanced. The FV replication cycle differs in several key aspects from orthoretroviruses, which leaves established retroviral models debatable for FVs. Here, we review the general aspect of the FV protein-nucleic acid interactions during virus morphogenesis. We provide a summary of the current knowledge of the FV genome structure and essential sequence motifs required for RNA encapsidation as well as Gag and Pol binding in combination with details about the Gag and Pol biosynthesis. This leads us to address open questions in FV RNA engagement, binding and packaging. Based on recent findings, we propose to shift the point of view from individual glycine-arginine-rich motifs having functions in RNA interactions towards envisioning the FV Gag C-terminus as a general RNA binding protein module. We encourage further investigating a potential new retroviral RNA packaging mechanism, which seems more complex in terms of the components that need to be gathered to form an infectious particle. Additional molecular insights into retroviral protein-nucleic acid interactions help us to develop safer, more specific and more efficient vectors in an era of booming genome engineering and gene therapy approaches. View Full-Text
Keywords: foamy virus; genomic viral RNA; cis-acting sequence; Gag biosynthesis; Pol biosynthesis; RNA encapsidation; capsid assembly foamy virus; genomic viral RNA; cis-acting sequence; Gag biosynthesis; Pol biosynthesis; RNA encapsidation; capsid assembly

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Hamann, M.V.; Lindemann, D. Foamy Virus Protein—Nucleic Acid Interactions during Particle Morphogenesis. Viruses 2016, 8, 243.

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