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Cell Biochem Biophys. 2008;50(3):143-57. doi: 10.1007/s12013-008-9009-4. Epub 2008 Feb 26.

Functional mapping of bluetongue virus proteins and their interactions with host proteins during virus replication.

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Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London WC1E 7HT, UK,


Bluetongue virus (BTV) is a double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) virus which is transmitted by blood-feeding gnats to wild and domestic ruminants, causing high morbidity and often high mortality. Partly due to this BTV has been in the forefront of molecular studies for last three decades and now represents one of the best understood viruses at the molecular and structural levels. BTV, like the other members of the Reoviridae family is a complex non-enveloped virus with seven structural proteins and a RNA genome consisting of 10 dsRNA segments of different sizes. In virus infected cells, three other virus encoded nonstructural proteins are synthesized. Significant recent advances have been made in understanding the structure-function relationships of BTV proteins and their interactions during virus assembly. By combining structural and molecular data it has been possible to make progress on the fundamental mechanisms used by the virus to invade, replicate in, and escape from, susceptible host cells. Data obtained from studies over a number of years have defined the key players in BTV entry, replication, assembly and egress. Specifically, it has been possible to determine the complex nature of the virion through three dimensional structure reconstructions; atomic structure of proteins and the internal capsid; the definition of the virus encoded enzymes required for RNA replication; the ordered assembly of the capsid shell and the protein sequestration required for it; and the role of three NS proteins in virus replication, assembly and release. Overall, this review demonstrates that the integration of structural, biochemical and molecular data is necessary to fully understand the assembly and replication of this complex RNA virus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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