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Rhinovirus: describe the mechanism by which the rhinoviruses produce viral RNA. Describe the cellular location of viral RNA synthesis and the source of the enzyme(s) required to produce viral RNA.

Rabies Virus: Describe our current understanding of how the rabies virus replicates its genome and produces viral mRNA. What is the source of the viral RNA polymerase? How does the virus switch from making mRNA to producing new copies of its genome?

West Nile Virus: Describe our current understanding of how the WNV replicates its genome and produces viral mRNA. What is the source of the viral RNA polymerase?

1. Ask at least one thoughtful problem of one of the presenters. Make sure your problems focus on the information for the presentations (i.e. mechanism of attachment, entry and viral RNA synthesis) and not other aspects of the virus.

2. Post an initial response to one of the Discussion problems below. Engage your colleagues in a discussion around the key points of these problems.

problem 1

The ultimate aim that any virus must develop is the ability to replicate. Although viruses have evolved a number of strategies to achieve this aim, these strategies often utilize common mechanisms. Read the review paper by Paul Ahlquist describing parallels in the replication mechanisms of various RNA viruses. Describe at least two parallels between two of the types of viruses described in the paper.

problem 2

The 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza has evolved to better replicate in human host cells. Read the Science Daily article and the primary article (Mehle et al.) on how the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus has adapted for replication in humans. What two mechanisms of generating diversity are utilized by the 2009 H1N1 virus? How are the changes that have allowed the 2009 H1N1 to adapt to human cells different to the changes in the 1918 Influenza virus?

problem 3

The unique replication and integration properties of retroviruses require a number of enzymatic activities not required by other RNA viruses. Describe the functions of the unique enzymatic activities of retroviruses, the cellular sites of these enzymatic activities and additional host proteins that are specifically required for retrovirus replication and integration.

problem 4

Describe the mechanisms for generating diversity in RNA viruses. Give exs of at least two of the mechanisms in a specific RNA virus.

problem 5

Read the review entitled “RNA Virus Replication Complexes” by Tao & Ye. Choose one of the following: (+) RNA Viruses, (-) RNA viruses or dsRNA virus and describe the location in the cell of its replication complex and the mechanism by which replication occurs and why this location/mechanism is advantageous to the virus.

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