Coronavirus genomes are single-stranded positive-sense RNA that are transcribed into a nested set of 3′ coterminal subgenomic RNAs for gene expression. Members of the Coronaviridae express canonical polymerase genes, as well as structural genes, including S, E, M, and N, but also express a highly divergent set of accessory genes whose open reading frames are interspersed among the structural genes within the 3′ one-third of the viral genome. The accessory genes are thought to contain luxury functions that are often not required for in-vitro virus replication. The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) expresses eight such accessory genes (ORF3a, -3b, -6, -7a, -7b, -8a, -8b, and -9b), the most of any known coronavirus. This chapter will review our current knowledge of expression, structure, and function of each of the SARS-CoV accessory genes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)