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Rotavirus genome replication and morphogenesis: role of the viroplasm.

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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.


The rotaviruses, members of the family Reoviridae, are icosahedral triple-layered viruses with genomes consisting of 11 segments of double-stranded (ds)RNA. A characteristic feature of rotavirus-infected cells is the formation of large cytoplasmic inclusion bodies, termed viroplasms. These dynamic and highly organized structures serve as viral factories that direct the packaging and replication of the viral genome into early capsid assembly intermediates. Migration of the intermediates to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) initiates a budding process that culminates in final capsid assembly. Recent information on the development and organization of viroplasms, the structure and function of its components, and interactive pathways linking RNA synthesis and capsid assembly provide new insight into how these microenvironments serve to interface the replication and morphogenetic processes of the virus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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