Reoviruses: Entry, Assembly and Morphogenesis

Volume 309 of the series Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology pp 117-167

Reovirus Structure and Morphogenesis

  • K. M. CoombsAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, University of Manitoba Email author 

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Assembly of a mature infectious virion from component parts is one of the last steps in the replicative cycle of most viruses. Recent advances in delineating aspects of this process for the mammalian orthoreoviruses (MRV), nonenveloped viruses composed of a genome of ten segments of double-stranded RNA enclosed in two concentric icosahedral protein capsids, are discussed. Analyses of temperature-sensitive (ts) assembly-defective reovirus mutants have been used to better understand requirements for viral inclusion formation and capsid morphogenesis. Newly determined high-resolution structures of virtually all MRV proteins, combined with complete MRV genomic sequence information and elucidation of sequence lesions in tsmutants, is now providing a context formolecularly understanding interactions that promote, or abrogate, reovirus capsid assembly. Additional advances in understanding required signals for whole genome construction fromsets of the ten individual genes, and in transcapsidation of subviral particles with engineered outer capsid proteins, provide additional molecular genetic understanding of reovirus protein structure-function and morphogenesis.