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World J Med Genet. May 27, 2014; 4(2): 6-18
Published online May 27, 2014. doi: 10.5496/wjmg.v4.i2.6
Structure-function relationship in viral RNA genomes: The case of hepatitis C virus
Cristina Romero-López, Alfredo Berzal-Herranz
Cristina Romero-López, Alfredo Berzal-Herranz, Instituto de Parasitología y Biomedicina López-Neyra, IPBLN-CSIC, PTS Granada, Armilla, 18016 Granada, Spain
Author contributions: Romero-López C and Berzal-Herranz A wrote the paper.
Supported by Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, No. BFU2012-31213; Junta de Andalucía, No. CVI-7430; and FEDER funds from the EU
Correspondence to: Cristina Romero-López, PhD, Instituto de Parasitología y Biomedicina López-Neyra, IPBLN-CSIC, PTS Granada, Avda. del Conocimiento s/n, Armilla, 18016 Granada, Spain.
Telephone: +34-958-181648 Fax: +34-958-181632
Received: December 10, 2013
Revised: January 23, 2014
Accepted: April 3, 2014
Published online: May 27, 2014
Core Tip

Core tip: This review summarizes the main aspects of structurally conserved genomic RNA elements in the hepatitis C virus (HCV) genome and their role in the viral cycle. The genome of RNA viruses is a dynamic genetic entity endorsed with an information storage system defined by highly conserved, complex structural units, termed functional RNA domains. The genome of HCV contains several well-studied functional RNA domains that control essential viral processes, as well as transitions between them, by recruiting protein factors and also by establishing a complex, direct and long-range RNA-RNA interaction network.