Caister Academic Press

Genomic Cis-Acting Elements in Coronavirus RNA Replication

Paul S. Masters
from: Coronaviruses: Molecular and Cellular Biology (Edited by: Volker Thiel). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2007)

Abstract

In common with the genomes of all other RNA viruses, coronavirus genomes contain cis-acting RNA elements that ensure the specific replication of viral RNA by a virally encoded RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. The embedded cis-acting elements devoted to coronavirus replication constitute a surprisingly small fraction of the total genome, but this is probably a reflection of the fact that coronaviruses have the largest genomes of all RNA viruses. The boundaries of cis-acting elements essential to replication are fairly well-defined, and an increasingly well resolved picture of the RNA secondary structures of these regions is emerging. However, we are only in the early stages of understanding how these cis-acting structures and sequences interact with the viral replicase and host cell components, and much remains to be done before we understand the precise mechanistic roles of such elements in RNA synthesis read more ...
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