Structure and regulation of coronavirus genomes: state-of-the-art and novel insights from SARS-CoV-2 studies.

Biochemical Society Transactions
Ilaria Manfredonia, Danny Incarnato


Coronaviruses (CoV) are positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses, harboring the largest viral RNA genomes known to date. Apart from the primary sequence encoding for all the viral proteins needed for the generation of new viral particles, certain regions of CoV genomes are known to fold into stable structures, controlling several aspects of CoV life cycle, from the regulation of the discontinuous transcription of subgenomic mRNAs, to the packaging of the genome into new virions. Here we review the current knowledge on CoV RNA structures, discussing it in light of the most recent discoveries made possible by analyses of the SARS-CoV-2 genome.


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