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RNA Biol. 2013 Aug;10(8):1274-82. doi: 10.4161/rna.25356. Epub 2013 Jun 17.

Biogenesis, assembly, and export of viral messenger ribonucleoproteins in the influenza A virus infected cell.

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Sir William Dunn School of Pathology; University of Oxford; Oxford, United Kingdom.


The flow of genetic information from sites of transcription within the nucleus to the cytoplasmic translational machinery of eukaryotic cells is obstructed by a physical blockade, the nuclear double membrane, which must be overcome in order to adhere to the central dogma of molecular biology, DNA makes RNA makes protein. Advancement in the field of cellular and molecular biology has painted a detailed picture of the molecular mechanisms from transcription of genes to mRNAs and their processing that is closely coupled to export from the nucleus. The rules that govern delivering messenger transcripts from the nucleus must be obeyed by influenza A virus, a member of the Orthomyxoviridae that has adopted a nuclear replication cycle. The negative-sense genome of influenza A virus is segmented into eight individual viral ribonucleoprotein (vRNP) complexes containing the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and single-stranded RNA encapsidated in viral nucleoprotein. Influenza A virus mRNAs fall into three major categories, intronless, intron-containing unspliced and spliced. During evolutionary history, influenza A virus has conceived a way of negotiating the passage of viral transcripts from the nucleus to cytoplasmic sites of protein synthesis. The major mRNA nuclear export NXF1 pathway is increasingly implicated in viral mRNA export and this review considers and discusses the current understanding of how influenza A virus exploits the host mRNA export pathway for replication.


NXF1; RNA polymerase; capping; influenza virus; mRNP; mRNP export; polyadenylation; splicing; transcription

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