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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2011 Aug;14(4):504-10. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2011.07.011. Epub 2011 Aug 6.

Nucleoproteins and nucleocapsids of negative-strand RNA viruses.

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Unit of Virus Host-Cell Interactions, UJF-EMBL-CNRS, UMI 3265, 6 rue Jules Horowitz, BP 181, 38042 Grenoble Cedex 9, France.


A hallmark of negative-strand RNA viruses (NSVs) is that their genomes never exist as free RNA, but instead are always assembled with many copies of a single nucleoprotein (N) to form highly stable nucleocapsids. Moreover, viral genomes are the only RNAs in infected cells that are assembled with N. The mechanism by which this specific association occurs, for both the segmented (s) and non-segmented (ns) viruses, has recently become clearer due to our expanding knowledge of N protein and nucleocapsid structures.

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