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Special Issue "Subviral RNAs"

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A special issue of Viruses (ISSN 1999-4915). This special issue belongs to the section "Viruses of Plants, Fungi and Protoza".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 August 2009)

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Viroids, hepatitis delta virus, satellite RNAs/viruses and defective interfering RNAs are unique RNAs that are not only exciting as pathogens but also as models for basic biology. This special issue will present the latest advances on these subviral RNAs through research articles as well as invited reviews from world leading experts. This issue should be valuable for research and teaching purposes.

Prof. Dr. Biao Ding
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • viroids
  • hepatitis delta virus
  • defective interfering RNAs
  • satellite RNAs
  • satellite viruses

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Review

Open AccessReview Interaction of Host Cellular Proteins with Components of the Hepatitis Delta Virus
Viruses 2010, 2(1), 189-212; doi:10.3390/v2010189
Received: 29 October 2009 / Revised: 13 January 2010 / Accepted: 14 January 2010 / Published: 18 January 2010
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (224 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The hepatitis delta virus (HDV) is the smallest known RNA pathogen capable of propagation in the human host and causes substantial global morbidity and mortality. Due to its small size and limited protein coding capacity, HDV is exquisitely reliant upon host cellular [...] Read more.
The hepatitis delta virus (HDV) is the smallest known RNA pathogen capable of propagation in the human host and causes substantial global morbidity and mortality. Due to its small size and limited protein coding capacity, HDV is exquisitely reliant upon host cellular proteins to facilitate its transcription and replication. Remarkably, HDV does not encode an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase which is traditionally required to catalyze RNA-templated RNA synthesis. Furthermore, HDV lacks enzymes responsible for post-transcriptional and -translational modification, processes which are integral to the HDV life cycle. This review summarizes the known HDV-interacting proteins and discusses their significance in HDV biology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Subviral RNAs)
Open AccessReview RNA Editing and its Control in Hepatitis Delta Virus Replication
Viruses 2010, 2(1), 131-146; doi:10.3390/v2010131
Received: 7 December 2009 / Revised: 31 December 2009 / Accepted: 5 January 2009 / Published: 12 January 2010
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (530 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The hepatitis delta virus genome is a small circular RNA, similar to viroids. Although HDV contains a gene, the protein produced (HDAg) is encoded by less than half the genome and possesses no RNA polymerase activity. Because of this limited coding capacity, [...] Read more.
The hepatitis delta virus genome is a small circular RNA, similar to viroids. Although HDV contains a gene, the protein produced (HDAg) is encoded by less than half the genome and possesses no RNA polymerase activity. Because of this limited coding capacity, HDV relies heavily on host functions and on structural features of the viral RNA—very much like viroids. The virus’ use of host RNA editing activity to produce two functionally distinct forms of HDAg is a particularly good example of this reliance. This review covers the mechanisms and control of RNA editing in the HDV replication cycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Subviral RNAs)
Open AccessReview Satellite RNAs and Satellite Viruses of Plants
Viruses 2009, 1(3), 1325-1350; doi:10.3390/v1031325
Received: 28 October 2009 / Revised: 7 December 2009 / Accepted: 7 December 2009 / Published: 18 December 2009
Cited by 36 | PDF Full-text (214 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The view that satellite RNAs (satRNAs) and satellite viruses are purely molecular parasites of their cognate helper viruses has changed. The molecular mechanisms underlying the synergistic and/or antagonistic interactions among satRNAs/satellite viruses, helper viruses, and host plants are beginning to be comprehended. [...] Read more.
The view that satellite RNAs (satRNAs) and satellite viruses are purely molecular parasites of their cognate helper viruses has changed. The molecular mechanisms underlying the synergistic and/or antagonistic interactions among satRNAs/satellite viruses, helper viruses, and host plants are beginning to be comprehended. This review aims to summarize the recent achievements in basic and practical research, with special emphasis on the involvement of RNA silencing mechanisms in the pathogenicity, population dynamics, and, possibly, the origin(s) of these subviral agents. With further research following current trends, the comprehensive understanding of satRNAs and satellite viruses could lead to new insights into the trilateral interactions among host plants, viruses, and satellites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Subviral RNAs)
Open AccessReview Defective Interfering RNAs: Foes of Viruses and Friends of Virologists
Viruses 2009, 1(3), 895-919; doi:10.3390/v1030895
Received: 20 October 2009 / Revised: 9 November 2009 / Accepted: 9 November 2009 / Published: 10 November 2009
Cited by 28 | PDF Full-text (487 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Defective interfering (DI) RNAs are subviral RNAs produced during multiplication of RNA viruses by the error-prone viral replicase. DI-RNAs are parasitic RNAs that are derived from and associated with the parent virus, taking advantage of viral-coded protein factors for their multiplication. Recent [...] Read more.
Defective interfering (DI) RNAs are subviral RNAs produced during multiplication of RNA viruses by the error-prone viral replicase. DI-RNAs are parasitic RNAs that are derived from and associated with the parent virus, taking advantage of viral-coded protein factors for their multiplication. Recent advances in the field of DI RNA biology has led to a greater understanding about generation and evolution of DI-RNAs as well as the mechanism of symptom attenuation. Moreover, DI-RNAs are versatile tools in the hands of virologists and are used as less complex surrogate templates to understand the biology of their helper viruses. The ease of their genetic manipulation has resulted in rapid discoveries on cis-acting RNA replication elements required for replication and recombination. DI-RNAs have been further exploited to discover host factors that modulate Tomato bushy stunt virus replication, as well as viral RNA recombination. This review discusses the current models on generation and evolution of DI-RNAs, the roles of viral and host factors in DI-RNA replication, and the mechanisms of disease attenuation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Subviral RNAs)
Open AccessReview Hepatitis Delta Virus RNA Replication
Viruses 2009, 1(3), 818-831; doi:10.3390/v1030818
Received: 28 September 2009 / Revised: 3 November 2009 / Accepted: 3 November 2009 / Published: 6 November 2009
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (149 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hepatitis delta virus (HDV) is a distant relative of plant viroids in the animal world. Similar to plant viroids, HDV replicates its circular RNA genome using a double rolling-circle mechanism. Nevertheless, the production of hepatitis delta antigen (HDAg), which is indispensible for [...] Read more.
Hepatitis delta virus (HDV) is a distant relative of plant viroids in the animal world. Similar to plant viroids, HDV replicates its circular RNA genome using a double rolling-circle mechanism. Nevertheless, the production of hepatitis delta antigen (HDAg), which is indispensible for HDV replication, is a unique feature distinct from plant viroids, which do not encode any protein. Here the HDV RNA replication cycle is reviewed, with emphasis on the function of HDAg in modulating RNA replication and the nature of the enzyme involved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Subviral RNAs)
Open AccessReview Viroid Replication: Rolling-Circles, Enzymes and Ribozymes
Viruses 2009, 1(2), 317-334; doi:10.3390/v1020317
Received: 6 July 2009 / Revised: 9 September 2009 / Accepted: 9 September 2009 / Published: 14 September 2009
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (427 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Viroids, due to their small size and lack of protein-coding capacity, must rely essentially on their hosts for replication. Intriguingly, viroids have evolved the ability to replicate in two cellular organella, the nucleus (family Pospiviroidae) and the chloroplast (family Avsunviroidae). [...] Read more.
Viroids, due to their small size and lack of protein-coding capacity, must rely essentially on their hosts for replication. Intriguingly, viroids have evolved the ability to replicate in two cellular organella, the nucleus (family Pospiviroidae) and the chloroplast (family Avsunviroidae). Viroid replication proceeds through an RNA-based rolling-circle mechanism with three steps that, with some variations, operate in both polarity strands: i) synthesis of longer-than-unit strands catalyzed by either the nuclear RNA polymerase II or a nuclear-encoded chloroplastic RNA polymerase, in both instances redirected to transcribe RNA templates, ii) cleavage to unit-length, which in the family Avsunviroidae is mediated by hammerhead ribozymes embedded in both polarity strands, while in the family Pospiviroidae the oligomeric RNAs provide the proper conformation but not the catalytic activity, and iii) circularization. The host RNA polymerases, most likely assisted by additional host proteins, start transcription from specific sites, thus implying the existence of viroid promoters. Cleavage and ligation in the family Pospiviroidae is probably catalyzed by an RNase III-like enzyme and an RNA ligase able to circularize the resulting 5’ and 3’ termini. Whether a chloroplastic RNA ligase mediates circularization in the family Avsunviroidae, or this reaction is autocatalytic, remains an open issue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Subviral RNAs)
Open AccessReview Viroid Pathogenicity: One Process, Many Faces
Viruses 2009, 1(2), 298-316; doi:10.3390/v1020298
Received: 14 July 2009 / Revised: 31 August 2009 / Accepted: 1 September 2009 / Published: 10 September 2009
Cited by 25 | PDF Full-text (357 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Despite the non-coding nature of their small RNA genomes, the visible symptoms of viroid infection resemble those associated with many plant virus diseases. Recent evidence indicates that viroid-derived small RNAs acting through host RNA silencing pathways play a key role in viroid [...] Read more.
Despite the non-coding nature of their small RNA genomes, the visible symptoms of viroid infection resemble those associated with many plant virus diseases. Recent evidence indicates that viroid-derived small RNAs acting through host RNA silencing pathways play a key role in viroid pathogenicity. Host responses to viroid infection are complex, involving signaling cascades containing host-encoded protein kinases and crosstalk between hormonal and defense-signaling pathways. Studies of viroid-host interaction in the context of entire biochemical or developmental pathways are just beginning, and many working hypotheses have yet to be critically tested. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Subviral RNAs)
Open AccessReview Evolutionary Constraints to Viroid Evolution
Viruses 2009, 1(2), 241-254; doi:10.3390/v1020241
Received: 10 July 2009 / Revised: 27 August 2009 / Accepted: 27 August 2009 / Published: 2 September 2009
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (355 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We suggest that viroids are trapped into adaptive peaks as the result of adaptive constraints. The first one is imposed by the necessity to fold into packed structures to escape from RNA silencing. This creates antagonistic epistases, which make future adaptive trajectories [...] Read more.
We suggest that viroids are trapped into adaptive peaks as the result of adaptive constraints. The first one is imposed by the necessity to fold into packed structures to escape from RNA silencing. This creates antagonistic epistases, which make future adaptive trajectories contingent upon the first mutation and slow down the rate of adaptation. This second constraint can only be surpassed by increasing genetic redundancy or by recombination. Eigen’s paradox imposes a limit to the increase in genome complexity in the absence of mechanisms reducing mutation rate. Therefore, recombination appears as the only possible route to evolutionary innovation in viroids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Subviral RNAs)
Open AccessReview Viroid Intercellular Trafficking: RNA Motifs, Cellular Factors and Broad Impacts
Viruses 2009, 1(2), 210-221; doi:10.3390/v1020210
Received: 29 July 2009 / Revised: 31 August 2009 / Accepted: 1 September 2009 / Published: 1 September 2009
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (179 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Viroids are noncoding RNAs that infect plants. In order to establish systemic infection, these RNAs must traffic from an initially infected host cell into neighboring cells and ultimately throughout a whole plant. Recent studies have identified structural motifs in a viroid that [...] Read more.
Viroids are noncoding RNAs that infect plants. In order to establish systemic infection, these RNAs must traffic from an initially infected host cell into neighboring cells and ultimately throughout a whole plant. Recent studies have identified structural motifs in a viroid that are required for trafficking, enabling further studies on the mechanisms of their function. Some cellular proteins interact with viroids in vivo and may play a role in viroid trafficking, which can now be directly tested by using a virus-induced gene silencing system that functions efficiently in plant species from which these factors were identified. This review discusses these recent advances, unanswered questions and the use of viroid infection as an highly productive model to elucidate mechanisms of RNA trafficking that is of broad biological significance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Subviral RNAs)

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