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Pharmacol Ther. 1991;51(1):47-70.

Gene expression of nonsegmented negative strand RNA viruses.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, OH 44195.

Erratum in

  • Pharmacol Ther 1991 Dec;52(3):445.


Nonsegmented negative strand RNA viruses comprise major human and animal pathogens in nature. This class of viruses is ubiquitous and infects vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants. Our laboratory has been working on the gene expression of two prototype nonsegmented negative strand RNA viruses, vesicular stomatitis virus (a rhabdovirus) and human parainfluenza virus 3 (a paramyxovirus). An RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (L and P protein) is packaged within the virion which faithfully copies the genome RNA in vitro and in vivo; this enzyme complex, in association with the nucleocapsid protein (N), is also involved in the replication process. In this review, we have presented up-to-date information of the structure and function of the RNA polymerases of these two viruses, the mechanisms of transcription and replication, and the role of host proteins in the life-cycle of the viruses. These detailed studies have led us to a better understanding of the roles of viral and cellular proteins in the viral gene expression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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