. Of the six structural and six nonstructural proteins encoded by the segmented double-stranded (ds) RNA genome of the rotaviruses, recent studies suggest that as many as seven may have affinity for RNA. While their functions in virus replication have yet to be precisely defined, the RNA-binding proteins may play essential roles in a number of events including: (i) transport of viral mRNAs to the site of replication, (ii) packaging and assortment of viral mRNA, (iii) RNA synthesis, (iv) coordination of genome replication and virion morphogenesis and (v) regulation of gene expression. Herein, the properties of the RNA-binding proteins are reviewed and the possible functions of these proteins in the replication of the rotavirus genome are discussed.

. Rotaviruses, members of the family , are the major actiological agents of severe infantile diarrhoea, causing an estimated one million deaths annually (Kapikian & Chanock, 1990).


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