How does a (+) RNA virus that is not a retrovirus replicate in a
Most biochemistry/molecular biology texts describe the process in
one paragraph, which basically states that a ds RNA intermediate
(the replicative form of the virus) is formed and from this
molecule more copies of the (+) strand and all the viral proteins
are generated, leading to the packaging of new virus particles.
Does the virus encoded RNA polymerase generate the (-) strand? If
so, is there a specific recognition sequence in the 3'UT of the
(+) strand that initiates this process? Does that same putative
sequence exist in the 3'UT of the (-) strand in order to generate
the (+) strand? Alternatively, is the RNA polymerase non-specific
and will it generate a ds RNA from any ss RNA it happens to
contact? How would alpha-interferon inhibit viral replication?
I am most interested in the replication of HCV, but a general
mechanism for (+) RNA viruses would be welcomed.
Thanks in advance.
E-mail: knight at mbcrr.harvard.edu