Two non-covalently linked copies of the retrovirus genome are specifically recruited to the site of virus particle assembly and packaged into released particles. Retroviral RNA packaging requires RNA export of the unspliced genomic RNA from the nucleus, translocation of the genome to virus assembly sites, and specific interaction with Gag, the main viral structural protein. While some aspects of the RNA packaging process are understood, many others remain poorly understood. In this review, we provide an update on recent advancements in understanding the mechanism of RNA packaging for retroviruses that cause disease in humans, i.e., HIV-1, HIV-2, and HTLV-1, as well as advances in the understanding of the details of genomic RNA nuclear export, genome translocation to virus assembly sites, and genomic RNA dimerization.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by National Institutes of Health, grant number R01 AI150468 (L.M.M.) and the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center (L.M.M.). H.M.H. was supported by NIH grants T32 AI083196 and F31 AI147805; N.A.W. was supported by NIH grants T90 DE022732 and F30 DE031829.
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- RNA dimerization
- RNA encapsidation
- RNA translocation
- human retrovirus
- nuclear export
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article
- Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
- Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural