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Viruses. 2011 Sep;3(9):1739-56. doi: 10.3390/v3091739. Epub 2011 Sep 15.

Functional RNA elements in the dengue virus genome.

Author information

  • 1Fundación Instituto Leloir-CONICET, Avenida Patricias Argentinas 435, C1405BWE, Buenos Aires, Argentina. lgebhard@leloir.org.ar

Abstract

Dengue virus (DENV) genome amplification is a process that involves the viral RNA, cellular and viral proteins, and a complex architecture of cellular membranes. The viral RNA is not a passive template during this process; it plays an active role providing RNA signals that act as promoters, enhancers and/or silencers of the replication process. RNA elements that modulate RNA replication were found at the 5' and 3' UTRs and within the viral coding sequence. The promoter for DENV RNA synthesis is a large stem loop structure located at the 5' end of the genome. This structure specifically interacts with the viral polymerase NS5 and promotes RNA synthesis at the 3' end of a circularized genome. The circular conformation of the viral genome is mediated by long range RNA-RNA interactions that span thousands of nucleotides. Recent studies have provided new information about the requirement of alternative, mutually exclusive, structures in the viral RNA, highlighting the idea that the viral genome is flexible and exists in different conformations. In this article, we describe elements in the promoter SLA and other RNA signals involved in NS5 polymerase binding and activity, and provide new ideas of how dynamic secondary and tertiary structures of the viral RNA participate in the viral life cycle.

KEYWORDS:

NS5 protein; RNA structures; dengue virus; flavivirus RNA; genome cyclization; viral RNA replication; viral RdRp

PMID:
21994804
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3187688
Free PMC Article

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