New insights on the role of paired membrane structures in coronavirus replication

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V'kovski, Philip ; Al-Mulla, Hawaa ; Thiel, Volker ; Neuman, Benjamin W. (2015)

The replication of coronaviruses, as in other positive-strand RNA viruses, is closely tied to the formation of membrane-bound replicative organelles inside infected cells. The proteins responsible for rearranging cellular membranes to form the organelles are conserved not just among the Coronaviridae family members, but across the order Nidovirales. Taken together, these observations suggest that the coronavirus replicative organelle plays an important role in viral replication, perhaps facilitating the production or protection of viral RNA. However, the exact nature of this role, and the specific contexts under which it is important have not been fully elucidated. Here, we collect and interpret the recent experimental evidence about the role and importance of membrane-bound organelles in coronavirus replication.
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