RNA-dependent RNA polymerases from Flaviviridae

Kyung H. Choi, Michael G. Rossmann

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Viral genome replication in Flaviviridae is carried out by a virally encoded RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp). These viruses initiate the RNA synthesis via a de novo mechanism that differs from the primer-dependent mechanism used by Picornaviridae. Like all polymerases, the structure of Flaviviridae RdRps resembles a right hand with characteristic fingers, palm, and thumb domains. Structural features that distinguish Flaviviridae RdRps from other polymerases are a large thumb domain and a C-terminal motif that encircles the active site. This domain arrangement restricts the volume of the template-binding channel, allowing only single-stranded RNA to enter the active site. While this closed form of the polymerase is ideal to stabilize a de novo initiation complex, significant conformational changes are expected to accommodate the elongation complex containing the RNA duplex product.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)746-751
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Structural Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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