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Virus Res. 2004 Apr;101(1):57-66.

Nonstructural proteins involved in genome packaging and replication of rotaviruses and other members of the Reoviridae.

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Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 50 South Drive MSC 8026, Room 6314, Bethesda, MD 20892-8026, USA.


Rotaviruses, members of family Reoviridae, are a major cause of acute gastroenteritis of infants and young children. The rotavirus genome consists of 11 segments of double-stranded (ds)RNA and the virion is an icosahedron composed of multiple layers of protein. The virion core is formed by a layer of VP2 and contains multiple copies of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase VP1 and the mRNA-capping enzyme VP3. Double-layered particles (DLPs), representing cores surrounded by a layer of VP6, direct the synthesis of viral mRNAs. Rotavirus core- and DLP-like replication intermediates (RIs) catalyze the synthesis of dsRNA from viral template mRNAs coincidentally with the packaging of the mRNAs into the pre-capsid structures of RIs. In addition to structural proteins, the nonstructural proteins NSP2 and NSP5 are components of RIs with replicase activity. NSP2 self assembles into octameric structures that have affinity for ssRNA and NTPase and helix-destabilizing activites. Its interaction with nucleotides induces a conformational shift in the octamer to a more condensed form. Phosphate residues generated by the NTPase activity are believed to be transferred from NSP2 to NSP5, leading to the hyperphosphorylation of the latter protein. It is suspected that the transfer of the phosphate group to NSP5 allows NSP2 to return to its noncondensed state and, thus, to accept another NTP molecule. The NSP5-mediated cycling of NSP2 from condensed to noncondensed combined with its RNA binding and helix-destabilizing activities are consistent with NSP2 functioning as a molecular motor to facilitate the packaging of template mRNAs into the pre-capsid structures of RIs. Similarities with the bluetongue virus protein NS2 and the reovirus proteins sigmaNS and micro2 suggest that they may be functional homologs of rotavirus NSP2 and NSP5.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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