Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The genome of influenza A virus consists of eight segments of negative-strand viral RNA (vRNA). During the replication cycle of the virus, the genomic vRNA is transcribed into positive-strand mRNA and complementary RNA (cRNA) in the cell nucleus. The promoter for the synthesis of mRNA molecules is located in a partially double-stranded RNA structure formed by the 5'- and 3'-terminal sequences of genomic vRNA segments. The virus encoded RNA-dependent RNA polymerase complex has to interact with both ends of the vRNA in order to generate capped RNA primers by endonucleolytic cleavage of cellular pre-mRNAs for the initiation of viral mRNA synthesis. Conserved sequence elements in the 5'-end, e.g. a polymerase binding site and a U(5-7) sequence are required for polyadenylation of virus-specific mRNAs. Polyadenylation occurs by reiterative copying of the U(5-7) sequence by the viral RNA polymerase, which is bound to the 5'end of the vRNA template. The U(5-7) sequence acts directly as a template for the poly(A)-tail. During the replication cycle of the virus, a "switch" from mRNA to cRNA synthesis occurs, but the mechanism by which this switch occurs remains unclear. The viral nucleoprotein and its interaction with the polymerase proteins and vRNA might play a role in this process. In contrast to transcription, the process of replication--the synthesis of cRNA and vRNA, which are known to occur in the absence of primers--is poorly understood.


Journal article


Acta Virol

Publication Date





273 - 282


Animals, DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases, Genome, Viral, Humans, Influenza A virus, RNA, Complementary, RNA, Messenger, RNA, Viral, Transcription, Genetic, Virus Replication