Arterivirus RNA Synthesis Dissected

Nucleotides, membranes, amino acids, and a bit of zinc…
  • Eric J. Snijder
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 494)


Over the past ten years, research on by far the largest nidovirus protein, the nonstructural gene 1 or replicase gene, has gone through a number of characteristic stages. First, cDNA copies of various nidovirus replicase genes were cloned and sequenced, with those of the coronaviruses infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) (Boursnell et al 1987) and mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) (Lee et al 1991) and the arterivirus equine arteritis virus (EAV) (den Boon et al 1991) being the first to be completed. Subsequently, extensive sequence comparisons revealed very interesting similarities/homologies within the nidovirus group (then still classified as corona-, toro-, and arteriviruses) and between nidoviruses and other positive-stranded RNA viruses. About five years later, the taxonomic debate on the position of the various nidovirus subgroups ended at the 1996 International Congress of Virology in Jerusalem. The family Arteriviridae and the order Nidovirales (containing the Coronaviridae and Arteriviridae) were formally established to acknowledge both the unique properties of arteriviruses and coronaviruses as well as their intriguing ancestral relationship at the level of replicase genes, genome organization, and replication strategy (Snijder and Spaan 1995, de Vries et al 1997).


Infectious Bronchitis Virus Genome Replication Replication Complex Minus Strand Mouse Hepatitis Virus 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric J. Snijder
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Virology, Center of Infectious DiseasesLeiden University Medical CenterRC Leidenthe Netherlands

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