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Curr Opin Virol. 2011 Nov;1(5):339-46. doi: 10.1016/j.coviro.2011.09.005.

Non-template functions of viral RNA in picornavirus replication.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, United States.


The genomic RNA of poliovirus and closely related picornaviruses perform template and non-template functions during viral RNA replication. The non-template functions are mediated by cis-active RNA sequences that bind viral and cellular proteins to form RNP complexes. The RNP complexes mediate temporally dynamic, long-range interactions in the viral genome and ensure the specificity of replication. The 5' cloverleaf (5' CL)-RNP complex serves as a key cis-active element in all of the non-template functions of viral RNA. The 5'CL-RNP complex is proposed to interact with the cre-RNP complex during VPgpUpU synthesis, the 3'NTR-poly(A) RNP complex during negative-strand initiation and the 30 end negative-strand-RNP complex during positive-strand initiation. Co-ordinating these long-range interactions is important in regulating each step in the replication cycle.

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