Special Issue "RNA Packaging"

A special issue of Viruses (ISSN 1999-4915). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Viruses".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2016).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Roland Marquet
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Architecture et Réactivité de l’ARN, Institut de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Université de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France.
Interests: retroviruses ; influenza viruses
Prof. Dr. Polly Roy
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Pathogen Molecular Biology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom
Tel. 020 7927 2324; Fax: +44 20 7927 2839
Interests: Molecular and structural biology orbiviruses, host-virus interaction, novel vaccines
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Viruses with RNA genomes are highly diverse, both in their host range (human, animals, plants, fungi, and bacteria) and in their genomic strategies. These include single stranded RNA of both polarity and double-stranded RNA molecules and in addition genomes can be single or multi-segmented. Irrespective of the strategies used a common problem for all RNA viruses is the specific packaging of their genomes into newly assembled virus particles and the exclusion of host RNA. This process requires specific RNA packaging signals, segregated away from the signals involved in genome replication. Two packaging strategies have been discussed for RNA viruses based around the findings that some viruses assemble their capsomers around the genome to form the final capsid, while others form procapsids first and then package their genome into them. Recent data suggests that for at least some viruses, packaging of the RNA genome relies on specific interactions between structural proteins or protein precursors with genomic RNA while in other inter-molecular interactions between RNA segments may drive the packaging process.  Recent methodological developments in structural biology and biochemistry, along with next generation sequencing, have combined with more classical approaches and are rapidly building our understanding of genome selection and packaging in RNA viruses. The goal of this Special Issue is to highlight these advances with a mix of review and original research articles.

Dr. Roland Marquet
Prof. Dr. Polly Roy
Guest Editors

Keywords

  • genomic RNA;
  • packaging;
  • encapsidation;
  • capsid;
  • procapsid;
  • nucleocapsid;
  • nucleoprotein;
  • RNA-protein interactions;
  • RNA-RNA interactions

Published Papers (17 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Functional Equivalence of Retroviral MA Domains in Facilitating Psi RNA Binding Specificity by Gag
Viruses 2016, 8(9), 256; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8090256 - 19 Sep 2016
Cited by 6
Abstract
Retroviruses specifically package full-length, dimeric genomic RNA (gRNA) even in the presence of a vast excess of cellular RNA. The “psi” (Ψ) element within the 5′-untranslated region (5′UTR) of gRNA is critical for packaging through interaction with the nucleocapsid (NC) domain of Gag. [...] Read more.
Retroviruses specifically package full-length, dimeric genomic RNA (gRNA) even in the presence of a vast excess of cellular RNA. The “psi” (Ψ) element within the 5′-untranslated region (5′UTR) of gRNA is critical for packaging through interaction with the nucleocapsid (NC) domain of Gag. However, in vitro Gag binding affinity for Ψ versus non-Ψ RNAs is not significantly different. Previous salt-titration binding assays revealed that human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Gag bound to Ψ RNA with high specificity and relatively few charge interactions, whereas binding to non-Ψ RNA was less specific and involved more electrostatic interactions. The NC domain was critical for specific Ψ binding, but surprisingly, a Gag mutant lacking the matrix (MA) domain was less effective at discriminating Ψ from non-Ψ RNA. We now find that Rous sarcoma virus (RSV) Gag also effectively discriminates RSV Ψ from non-Ψ RNA in a MA-dependent manner. Interestingly, Gag chimeras, wherein the HIV-1 and RSV MA domains were swapped, maintained high binding specificity to cognate Ψ RNAs. Using Ψ RNA mutant constructs, determinants responsible for promoting high Gag binding specificity were identified in both systems. Taken together, these studies reveal the functional equivalence of HIV-1 and RSV MA domains in facilitating Ψ RNA selectivity by Gag, as well as Ψ elements that promote this selectivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Packaging)
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Open AccessArticle
Binding of RNA by the Nucleoproteins of Influenza Viruses A and B
Viruses 2016, 8(9), 247; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8090247 - 13 Sep 2016
Cited by 6
Abstract
This paper describes a biochemical study for making complexes between the nucleoprotein of influenza viruses A and B (A/NP and B/NP) and small RNAs (polyUC RNAs from 5 to 24 nucleotides (nt)), starting from monomeric proteins. We used negative stain electron microscopy, size [...] Read more.
This paper describes a biochemical study for making complexes between the nucleoprotein of influenza viruses A and B (A/NP and B/NP) and small RNAs (polyUC RNAs from 5 to 24 nucleotides (nt)), starting from monomeric proteins. We used negative stain electron microscopy, size exclusion chromatography-multi-angle laser light scattering (SEC-MALLS) analysis, and fluorescence anisotropy measurements to show how the NP-RNA complexes evolve. Both proteins make small oligomers with 24-nt RNAs, trimers for A/NP, and dimers, tetramers, and larger complexes for B/NP. With shorter RNAs, the affinities of NP are all in the same range at 50 mM NaCl, showing that the RNAs bind on the same site. The affinity of B/NP for a 24-nt RNA does not change with salt. However, the affinity of A/NP for a 24-nt RNA is lower at 150 and 300 mM NaCl, suggesting that the RNA binds to another site, either on the same protomer or on a neighbour protomer. For our fluorescence anisotropy experiments, we used 6-fluorescein amidite (FAM)-labelled RNAs. By using a (UC)6-FAM3′ RNA with 150 mM NaCl, we observed an interesting phenomenon that gives macromolecular complexes similar to the ribonucleoprotein particles purified from the viruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Packaging)
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Open AccessArticle
Influenza NA and PB1 Gene Segments Interact during the Formation of Viral Progeny: Localization of the Binding Region within the PB1 Gene
Viruses 2016, 8(8), 238; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8080238 - 20 Aug 2016
Cited by 14
Abstract
The influenza A virus genome comprises eight negative-sense viral RNAs (vRNAs) that form individual ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes. In order to incorporate a complete set of each of these vRNAs, the virus uses a selective packaging mechanism that facilitates co-packaging of specific gene segments [...] Read more.
The influenza A virus genome comprises eight negative-sense viral RNAs (vRNAs) that form individual ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes. In order to incorporate a complete set of each of these vRNAs, the virus uses a selective packaging mechanism that facilitates co-packaging of specific gene segments but whose molecular basis is still not fully understood. Recently, we used a competitive transfection model where plasmids encoding the A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (PR8) and A/Udorn/307/72 (Udorn) PB1 gene segments were competed to show that the Udorn PB1 gene segment is preferentially co-packaged into progeny virions with the Udorn NA gene segment. Here we created chimeric PB1 genes combining both Udorn and PR8 PB1 sequences to further define the location within the Udorn PB1 gene that drives co-segregation of these genes and show that nucleotides 1776–2070 of the PB1 gene are crucial for preferential selection. In vitro assays examining specific interactions between Udorn NA vRNA and purified vRNAs transcribed from chimeric PB1 genes also supported the importance of this region in the PB1-NA interaction. Hence, this work identifies an association between viral genes that are co-selected during packaging. It also reveals a region potentially important in the RNP-RNP interactions within the supramolecular complex that is predicted to form prior to budding to allow one of each segment to be packaged in the viral progeny. Our study lays the foundation to understand the co-selection of specific genes, which may be critical to the emergence of new viruses with pandemic potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Packaging)
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Open AccessArticle
A Phylogenetic Survey on the Structure of the HIV-1 Leader RNA Domain That Encodes the Splice Donor Signal
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 200; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070200 - 21 Jul 2016
Cited by 3
Abstract
RNA splicing is a critical step in the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication cycle because it controls the expression of the complex viral proteome. The major 5′ splice site (5′ss) that is positioned in the untranslated leader of the HIV-1 RNA [...] Read more.
RNA splicing is a critical step in the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication cycle because it controls the expression of the complex viral proteome. The major 5′ splice site (5′ss) that is positioned in the untranslated leader of the HIV-1 RNA transcript is of particular interest because it is used for the production of the more than 40 differentially spliced subgenomic mRNAs. HIV-1 splicing needs to be balanced tightly to ensure the proper levels of all viral proteins, including the Gag-Pol proteins that are translated from the unspliced RNA. We previously presented evidence that the major 5′ss is regulated by a repressive local RNA structure, the splice donor (SD) hairpin, that masks the 11 nucleotides (nts) of the 5′ss signal for recognition by U1 small nuclear RNA (snRNA) of the spliceosome machinery. A strikingly different multiple-hairpin RNA conformation was recently proposed for this part of the HIV-1 leader RNA. We therefore inspected the sequence of natural HIV-1 isolates in search for support, in the form of base pair (bp) co-variations, for the different RNA conformations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Packaging)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Cross- and Co-Packaging of Retroviral RNAs and Their Consequences
Viruses 2016, 8(10), 276; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8100276 - 11 Oct 2016
Cited by 9
Abstract
Retroviruses belong to the family Retroviridae and are ribonucleoprotein (RNP) particles that contain a dimeric RNA genome. Retroviral particle assembly is a complex process, and how the virus is able to recognize and specifically capture the genomic RNA (gRNA) among millions of other [...] Read more.
Retroviruses belong to the family Retroviridae and are ribonucleoprotein (RNP) particles that contain a dimeric RNA genome. Retroviral particle assembly is a complex process, and how the virus is able to recognize and specifically capture the genomic RNA (gRNA) among millions of other cellular and spliced retroviral RNAs has been the subject of extensive investigation over the last two decades. The specificity towards RNA packaging requires higher order interactions of the retroviral gRNA with the structural Gag proteins. Moreover, several retroviruses have been shown to have the ability to cross-/co-package gRNA from other retroviruses, despite little sequence homology. This review will compare the determinants of gRNA encapsidation among different retroviruses, followed by an examination of our current understanding of the interaction between diverse viral genomes and heterologous proteins, leading to their cross-/co-packaging. Retroviruses are well-known serious animal and human pathogens, and such a cross-/co-packaging phenomenon could result in the generation of novel viral variants with unknown pathogenic potential. At the same time, however, an enhanced understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in these specific interactions makes retroviruses an attractive target for anti-viral drugs, vaccines, and vectors for human gene therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Packaging)
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Open AccessReview
Orchestrating the Selection and Packaging of Genomic RNA by Retroviruses: An Ensemble of Viral and Host Factors
Viruses 2016, 8(9), 257; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8090257 - 20 Sep 2016
Cited by 11
Abstract
Infectious retrovirus particles contain two copies of unspliced viral RNA that serve as the viral genome. Unspliced retroviral RNA is transcribed in the nucleus by the host RNA polymerase II and has three potential fates: (1) it can be spliced into subgenomic messenger [...] Read more.
Infectious retrovirus particles contain two copies of unspliced viral RNA that serve as the viral genome. Unspliced retroviral RNA is transcribed in the nucleus by the host RNA polymerase II and has three potential fates: (1) it can be spliced into subgenomic messenger RNAs (mRNAs) for the translation of viral proteins; or it can remain unspliced to serve as either (2) the mRNA for the translation of Gag and Gag–Pol; or (3) the genomic RNA (gRNA) that is packaged into virions. The Gag structural protein recognizes and binds the unspliced viral RNA to select it as a genome, which is selected in preference to spliced viral RNAs and cellular RNAs. In this review, we summarize the current state of understanding about how retroviral packaging is orchestrated within the cell and explore potential new mechanisms based on recent discoveries in the field. We discuss the cis-acting elements in the unspliced viral RNA and the properties of the Gag protein that are required for their interaction. In addition, we discuss the role of host factors in influencing the fate of the newly transcribed viral RNA, current models for how retroviruses distinguish unspliced viral mRNA from viral genomic RNA, and the possible subcellular sites of genomic RNA dimerization and selection by Gag. Although this review centers primarily on the wealth of data available for the alpharetrovirus Rous sarcoma virus, in which a discrete RNA packaging sequence has been identified, we have also summarized the cis- and trans-acting factors as well as the mechanisms governing gRNA packaging of other retroviruses for comparison. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Packaging)
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Open AccessReview
On the Selective Packaging of Genomic RNA by HIV-1
Viruses 2016, 8(9), 246; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8090246 - 12 Sep 2016
Cited by 31
Abstract
Like other retroviruses, human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) selectively packages genomic RNA (gRNA) during virus assembly. However, in the absence of the gRNA, cellular messenger RNAs (mRNAs) are packaged. While the gRNA is selected because of its cis-acting packaging signal, the [...] Read more.
Like other retroviruses, human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) selectively packages genomic RNA (gRNA) during virus assembly. However, in the absence of the gRNA, cellular messenger RNAs (mRNAs) are packaged. While the gRNA is selected because of its cis-acting packaging signal, the mechanism of this selection is not understood. The affinity of Gag (the viral structural protein) for cellular RNAs at physiological ionic strength is not much higher than that for the gRNA. However, binding to the gRNA is more salt-resistant, implying that it has a higher non-electrostatic component. We have previously studied the spacer 1 (SP1) region of Gag and showed that it can undergo a concentration-dependent conformational transition. We proposed that this transition represents the first step in assembly, i.e., the conversion of Gag to an assembly-ready state. To explain selective packaging of gRNA, we suggest here that binding of Gag to gRNA, with its high non-electrostatic component, triggers this conversion more readily than binding to other RNAs; thus we predict that a Gag–gRNA complex will nucleate particle assembly more efficiently than other Gag–RNA complexes. New data shows that among cellular mRNAs, those with long 3′-untranslated regions (UTR) are selectively packaged. It seems plausible that the 3′-UTR, a stretch of RNA not occupied by ribosomes, offers a favorable binding site for Gag. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Packaging)
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Open AccessReview
The Life-Cycle of the HIV-1 Gag–RNA Complex
Viruses 2016, 8(9), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8090248 - 10 Sep 2016
Cited by 25
Abstract
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication is a highly regulated process requiring the recruitment of viral and cellular components to the plasma membrane for assembly into infectious particles. This review highlights the recent process of understanding the selection of the genomic RNA [...] Read more.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication is a highly regulated process requiring the recruitment of viral and cellular components to the plasma membrane for assembly into infectious particles. This review highlights the recent process of understanding the selection of the genomic RNA (gRNA) by the viral Pr55Gag precursor polyprotein, and the processes leading to its incorporation into viral particles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Packaging)
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Open AccessReview
Foamy Virus Protein—Nucleic Acid Interactions during Particle Morphogenesis
Viruses 2016, 8(9), 243; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8090243 - 30 Aug 2016
Cited by 3
Abstract
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, [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Packaging)
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Open AccessReview
From Cells to Virus Particles: Quantitative Methods to Monitor RNA Packaging
Viruses 2016, 8(8), 239; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8080239 - 22 Aug 2016
Cited by 2
Abstract
In cells, positive strand RNA viruses, such as Retroviridae, must selectively recognize their full-length RNA genome among abundant cellular RNAs to assemble and release particles. How viruses coordinate the intracellular trafficking of both RNA and protein components to the assembly sites of [...] Read more.
In cells, positive strand RNA viruses, such as Retroviridae, must selectively recognize their full-length RNA genome among abundant cellular RNAs to assemble and release particles. How viruses coordinate the intracellular trafficking of both RNA and protein components to the assembly sites of infectious particles at the cell surface remains a long-standing question. The mechanisms ensuring packaging of genomic RNA are essential for viral infectivity. Since RNA packaging impacts on several essential functions of retroviral replication such as RNA dimerization, translation and recombination events, there are many studies that require the determination of RNA packaging efficiency and/or RNA packaging ability. Studies of RNA encapsidation rely upon techniques for the identification and quantification of RNA species packaged by the virus. This review focuses on the different approaches available to monitor RNA packaging: Northern blot analysis, ribonuclease protection assay and quantitative reverse transcriptase-coupled polymerase chain reaction as well as the most recent RNA imaging and sequencing technologies. Advantages, disadvantages and limitations of these approaches will be discussed in order to help the investigator to choose the most appropriate technique. Although the review was written with the prototypic simple murine leukemia virus (MLV) and complex human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in mind, the techniques were described in order to benefit to a larger community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Packaging)
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Open AccessReview
The Host RNAs in Retroviral Particles
Viruses 2016, 8(8), 235; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8080235 - 19 Aug 2016
Cited by 23
Abstract
As they assemble, retroviruses encapsidate both their genomic RNAs and several types of host RNA. Whereas limited amounts of messenger RNA (mRNA) are detectable within virion populations, the predominant classes of encapsidated host RNAs do not encode proteins, but instead include endogenous retroelements [...] Read more.
As they assemble, retroviruses encapsidate both their genomic RNAs and several types of host RNA. Whereas limited amounts of messenger RNA (mRNA) are detectable within virion populations, the predominant classes of encapsidated host RNAs do not encode proteins, but instead include endogenous retroelements and several classes of non-coding RNA (ncRNA), some of which are packaged in significant molar excess to the viral genome. Surprisingly, although the most abundant host RNAs in retroviruses are also abundant in cells, unusual forms of these RNAs are packaged preferentially, suggesting that these RNAs are recruited early in their biogenesis: before associating with their cognate protein partners, and/or from transient or rare RNA populations. These RNAs’ packaging determinants differ from the viral genome’s, and several of the abundantly packaged host ncRNAs serve cells as the scaffolds of ribonucleoprotein particles. Because virion assembly is equally efficient whether or not genomic RNA is available, yet RNA appears critical to the structural integrity of retroviral particles, it seems possible that the selectively encapsidated host ncRNAs might play roles in assembly. Indeed, some host ncRNAs appear to act during replication, as some transfer RNA (tRNA) species may contribute to nuclear import of human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) reverse transcription complexes, and other tRNA interactions with the viral Gag protein aid correct trafficking to plasma membrane assembly sites. However, despite high conservation of packaging for certain host RNAs, replication roles for most of these selectively encapsidated RNAs—if any—have remained elusive. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Packaging)
Open AccessReview
Ins and Outs of Multipartite Positive-Strand RNA Plant Viruses: Packaging versus Systemic Spread
Viruses 2016, 8(8), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8080228 - 18 Aug 2016
Cited by 9
Abstract
Viruses possessing a non-segmented genome require a specific recognition of their nucleic acid to ensure its protection in a capsid. A similar feature exists for viruses having a segmented genome, usually consisting of viral genomic segments joined together into one viral entity. While [...] Read more.
Viruses possessing a non-segmented genome require a specific recognition of their nucleic acid to ensure its protection in a capsid. A similar feature exists for viruses having a segmented genome, usually consisting of viral genomic segments joined together into one viral entity. While this appears as a rule for animal viruses, the majority of segmented plant viruses package their genomic segments individually. To ensure a productive infection, all viral particles and thereby all segments have to be present in the same cell. Progression of the virus within the plant requires as well a concerted genome preservation to avoid loss of function. In this review, we will discuss the “life aspects” of chosen phytoviruses and argue for the existence of RNA-RNA interactions that drive the preservation of viral genome integrity while the virus progresses in the plant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Packaging)
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Open AccessReview
Experimental Approaches to Study Genome Packaging of Influenza A Viruses
Viruses 2016, 8(8), 218; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8080218 - 09 Aug 2016
Cited by 9
Abstract
The genome of influenza A viruses (IAV) consists of eight single-stranded negative sense viral RNAs (vRNAs) encapsidated into viral ribonucleoproteins (vRNPs). It is now well established that genome packaging (i.e., the incorporation of a set of eight distinct vRNPs into budding viral particles), [...] Read more.
The genome of influenza A viruses (IAV) consists of eight single-stranded negative sense viral RNAs (vRNAs) encapsidated into viral ribonucleoproteins (vRNPs). It is now well established that genome packaging (i.e., the incorporation of a set of eight distinct vRNPs into budding viral particles), follows a specific pathway guided by segment-specific cis-acting packaging signals on each vRNA. However, the precise nature and function of the packaging signals, and the mechanisms underlying the assembly of vRNPs into sub-bundles in the cytoplasm and their selective packaging at the viral budding site, remain largely unknown. Here, we review the diverse and complementary methods currently being used to elucidate these aspects of the viral cycle. They range from conventional and competitive reverse genetics, single molecule imaging of vRNPs by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and high-resolution electron microscopy and tomography of budding viral particles, to solely in vitro approaches to investigate vRNA-vRNA interactions at the molecular level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Packaging)
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Open AccessReview
RNA Encapsidation and Packaging in the Phleboviruses
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070194 - 15 Jul 2016
Cited by 14
Abstract
The Bunyaviridae represents the largest family of segmented RNA viruses, which infect a staggering diversity of plants, animals, and insects. Within the family Bunyaviridae, the Phlebovirus genus includes several important human and animal pathogens, including Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV), severe fever [...] Read more.
The Bunyaviridae represents the largest family of segmented RNA viruses, which infect a staggering diversity of plants, animals, and insects. Within the family Bunyaviridae, the Phlebovirus genus includes several important human and animal pathogens, including Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV), severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV), Uukuniemi virus (UUKV), and the sandfly fever viruses. The phleboviruses have small tripartite RNA genomes that encode a repertoire of 5–7 proteins. These few proteins accomplish the daunting task of recognizing and specifically packaging a tri-segment complement of viral genomic RNA in the midst of an abundance of host components. The critical nucleation events that eventually lead to virion production begin early on in the host cytoplasm as the first strands of nascent viral RNA (vRNA) are synthesized. The interaction between the vRNA and the viral nucleocapsid (N) protein effectively protects and masks the RNA from the host, and also forms the ribonucleoprotein (RNP) architecture that mediates downstream interactions and drives virion formation. Although the mechanism by which all three genomic counterparts are selectively co-packaged is not completely understood, we are beginning to understand the hierarchy of interactions that begins with N-RNA packaging and culminates in RNP packaging into new virus particles. In this review we focus on recent progress that highlights the molecular basis of RNA genome packaging in the phleboviruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Packaging)
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Open AccessReview
Determinants of Genomic RNA Encapsidation in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Long Terminal Repeat Retrotransposons Ty1 and Ty3
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 193; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070193 - 14 Jul 2016
Cited by 6
Abstract
Long-terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons are transposable genetic elements that replicate intracellularly, and can be considered progenitors of retroviruses. Ty1 and Ty3 are the most extensively characterized LTR retrotransposons whose RNA genomes provide the template for both protein translation and genomic RNA that is [...] Read more.
Long-terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons are transposable genetic elements that replicate intracellularly, and can be considered progenitors of retroviruses. Ty1 and Ty3 are the most extensively characterized LTR retrotransposons whose RNA genomes provide the template for both protein translation and genomic RNA that is packaged into virus-like particles (VLPs) and reverse transcribed. Genomic RNAs are not divided into separate pools of translated and packaged RNAs, therefore their trafficking and packaging into VLPs requires an equilibrium between competing events. In this review, we focus on Ty1 and Ty3 genomic RNA trafficking and packaging as essential steps of retrotransposon propagation. We summarize the existing knowledge on genomic RNA sequences and structures essential to these processes, the role of Gag proteins in repression of genomic RNA translation, delivery to VLP assembly sites, and encapsidation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Packaging)
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Open AccessReview
Coordination of Genomic RNA Packaging with Viral Assembly in HIV-1
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070192 - 14 Jul 2016
Cited by 7
Abstract
The tremendous progress made in unraveling the complexities of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) replication has resulted in a library of drugs to target key aspects of the replication cycle of the virus. Yet, despite this accumulated wealth of knowledge, we still have much [...] Read more.
The tremendous progress made in unraveling the complexities of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) replication has resulted in a library of drugs to target key aspects of the replication cycle of the virus. Yet, despite this accumulated wealth of knowledge, we still have much to learn about certain viral processes. One of these is virus assembly, where the viral genome and proteins come together to form infectious progeny. Here we review this topic from the perspective of how the route to production of an infectious virion is orchestrated by the viral genome, and we compare and contrast aspects of the assembly mechanisms employed by HIV-1 with those of other RNA viruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Packaging)
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Open AccessReview
The Feat of Packaging Eight Unique Genome Segments
Viruses 2016, 8(6), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8060165 - 17 Jun 2016
Cited by 14
Abstract
Influenza A viruses (IAVs) harbor a segmented RNA genome that is organized into eight distinct viral ribonucleoprotein (vRNP) complexes. Although a segmented genome may be a major advantage to adapt to new host environments, it comes at the cost of a highly sophisticated [...] Read more.
Influenza A viruses (IAVs) harbor a segmented RNA genome that is organized into eight distinct viral ribonucleoprotein (vRNP) complexes. Although a segmented genome may be a major advantage to adapt to new host environments, it comes at the cost of a highly sophisticated genome packaging mechanism. Newly synthesized vRNPs conquer the cellular endosomal recycling machinery to access the viral budding site at the plasma membrane. Genome packaging sequences unique to each RNA genome segment are thought to be key determinants ensuring the assembly and incorporation of eight distinct vRNPs into progeny viral particles. Recent studies using advanced fluorescence microscopy techniques suggest the formation of vRNP sub-bundles (comprising less than eight vRNPs) during their transport on recycling endosomes. The formation of such sub-bundles might be required for efficient packaging of a bundle of eight different genomes segments at the budding site, further highlighting the complexity of IAV genome packaging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Packaging)
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