The ER in Replication of Positive Strand RNA Viruses

Christophe Ritzenthaler (K) • Rabab Elamawi

Institut de Biologie Moléculaire des Plantes, 12, rue du Général Zimmer, 67084 Strasbourg cedex, France [email protected]

Abstract All eukaryotic positive-sense single-strand RNA viruses, (+)ssRNA, replicate their genome in association with membranes of host cells. The presence of a replicating virus frequently induces proliferation and rearrangement of the host membranes into various cytopathic structures, including invaginations, vesicles, spherules or membranous webs. Such structures are considered to be virus-induced organelles specialized in replication functions. Virtually all membranes are able to be rearranged to support replication. Thus, membranes from peroxisomes, endosomes, lysosomes, vacuoles, mitochondria, and chloroplasts are used for (+)ssRNA virus replication, but the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is by far the preferred organelle. The specific type of membrane system utilized in assembling the viral replication complex is strictly dependent on individual viruses and is likely to be genetically determined. The various molecular interactions that govern ER targeting of plant viruses highlight how viruses can exploit the diversity of interactions that occurs between proteins and membrane or lipid structures.

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