The Cap-Snatching Mechanism of Bunyaviruses.

Affiliation

Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, Department of Virology, Hamburg, Germany. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

In common with all segmented negative-sense RNA viruses, bunyavirus transcripts contain heterologous sequences at their 5' termini originating from capped host cell RNAs. These heterologous sequences are acquired by a so-called cap-snatching mechanism. Whereas for nuclear replicating influenza virus the source of capped primers as well as the cap-binding and endonuclease activities of the viral polymerase needed for cap snatching have been functionally and structurally well characterized, our knowledge on the expected counterparts of cytoplasmic replicating bunyaviruses is still limited and controversial. This review focuses on the cap-snatching mechanism of bunyaviruses in the light of recent structural and functional data.

Keywords

bunyavirus,cap binding,cap snatching,endonuclease,viral transcription,

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