Send to

Choose Destination
Cell. 2002 Nov 27;111(5):733-45.

RNA synthesis in a cage--structural studies of reovirus polymerase lambda3.

Author information

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.


The reovirus polymerase and those of other dsRNA viruses function within the confines of a protein capsid to transcribe the tightly packed dsRNA genome segments. The crystal structure of the reovirus polymerase, lambda3, determined at 2.5 A resolution, shows a fingers-palm-thumb core, similar to those of other viral polymerases, surrounded by major N- and C-terminal elaborations, which create a cage-like structure, with four channels leading to the catalytic site. This "caged" polymerase has allowed us to visualize the results of several rounds of RNA polymerization directly in the crystals. A 5' cap binding site on the surface of lambda3 suggests a template retention mechanism by which attachment of the 5' end of the plus-sense strand facilitates insertion of the 3' end of the minus-sense strand into the template channel.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center