Frontiers in Biology

, Volume 6, Issue 6, pp 446–461

Molecular mechanisms of transcription and replication of the influenza A virus genome


  • Shijian Zhang
    • Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University
    • Choju Medical InstituteFukushimura Hospital
    • Infectious Disease Regulation ProjectTokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Sciences

DOI: 10.1007/s11515-011-1151-5

Cite this article as:
Zhang, S. & Toyoda, T. Front. Biol. (2011) 6: 446. doi:10.1007/s11515-011-1151-5


Influenza Avirus is one of the major pathogens that pose a large threat to human health worldwide and has caused pandemics. Influenza A virus is the Orthomyxoviridae prototype, and has 8 segmented negative-sense single-stranded RNA (vRNA) as its genome. Influenza virus RNA polymerase (RdRp) consists of three subunits PB2, PB1 and PA, and catalyzes both transcription and replication. Recently, intensive biochemical and structural analysis of its RdRp has been performed. In this paper, we review the details from the biochemical analysis of the purified influenza virus RdRp and the classical ribonucleoprotein complex, as well as piece together their structures to form an overall picture.


influenza virusRNA polymeraseribonucleoprotein complextranscriptionreplication
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© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011