Flaviviral RNAs: weapons and targets in the war between virus and host.
Flaviviruses are a genus of (+)ssRNA (positive ssRNA) enveloped viruses that replicate in the cytoplasm of cells of diverse species from arthropods to mammals. Many are important human pathogens such as DENV-1-4 (dengue virus types 1-4), WNV (West Nile virus), YFV (yellow fever virus), JEV (Japanese encephalitis virus) and TBEV (tick-borne encephalitis). Given their RNA genomes it is not surprising that flaviviral life cycles revolve around critical RNA transactions. It is these we highlight in the present article. First, we summarize the mechanisms governing flaviviral replication and the central role of conserved RNA elements and viral protein-RNA interactions in RNA synthesis, translation and packaging. Secondly, we focus on how host RNA-binding proteins both benefit and inhibit flaviviral replication at different stages of their life cycle in mammalian hosts. Thirdly, we cover recent studies on viral non-coding RNAs produced in flavivirus-infected cells and how these RNAs affect various aspects of cellular RNA metabolism. Together, the article puts into perspective the central role of flaviviral RNAs in modulating both viral and cellular functions.
Bidet, K; Garcia-Blanco, MA
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