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Paramyxovirus multiplication cycle: RNA synthesis processes and virus particle production

English title Paramyxovirus multiplication cycle: RNA synthesis processes and virus particle production
Applicant Roux Laurent
Number 109745
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Dépt Microbiologie et Médecine Moléculaire Faculté de Médecine Université de Genève
Institution of higher education University of Geneva - GE
Main discipline Experimental Microbiology
Start/End 01.10.2005 - 30.09.2008
Approved amount 260'000.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Experimental Microbiology
Molecular Biology

Keywords (5)

Respiratory viruses; life cycle; RNA genome replication; virus particle assembly; virion production

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
Viruses are absolute parasites of living cells that they infect to multiply. In doing so, they produce detrimental effects, eventually generating diseases in human, animals or plants. The understanding of their multiplication cycle bears two major interests: the fundamental knowledge about organisms which are found in all the realm of life and the control of their multiplication in order to prevent major damages in higher organisms including humans. The viruses are classified in large families. The Paramyxovirus family harbors human and animal respiratory pathogens which claim a heavy burden on the general health and economical systems. The major human viruses include the measles, the mumps, the respiratory syncytial and the human parainfluenza viruses, not talking about the recent emerging viruses, Nipah and Hendra viruses, in swine and horses which claimed human lives as well. The general goal of this research is to provide a fundamental understanding of the viral multiplication cycle, using Sendai virus, a likely mouse virus, as a prototype for the family. The Paramyxovirus are enveloped viruses containing a genome made of a single stranded RNA of negative polarity tightly wrapped by multiple copies of the N proteins in a structure of helicoidal symmetry. This structure, called the nucleocapsid, represents in fact the active genome that serves as template for the viral RNA dependent RNA polymerase engaged in genetic expression and genome replication. The unprecedented observation that this replication is effective only if the total number of nucleotides is a multiple of six (the rule of six) raised specific questions that can be answered only in the study of this family of viruses. These questions turn around the mechanism by which the RNA polymerase functions: how does it know that the template genome conforms to the rule? how is it performing its task using this template that is mainly protein (>95%). Another question that is more general to the life cycle of viruses is how are the viral components assembled to produce new virus particles which will spread to allow viral survival and incidentally to cause diseases. This can be best studied with efficiently growing viruses, and Sendai virus is probably one of the most efficiently growing viruses in the class of respiratory viruses. In the end, the detailed knowledge of the Sendai virus multiplication cycle will bring fundamental information about a class of viruses which harbor specific biological characteristics and represent prototypes for human and animal respiratory viruses.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
67249 The multiplication of Paramyxoviruses: genome replication and its uptake into virus particles 01.04.2002 Project funding (Div. I-III)
122462 Le cycle de multiplication d’un Paramyxovirus: assemblage des différents constituants et production de particules virales 01.10.2008 Project funding (Div. I-III)