SARS coronavirus accessory gene expression and function

Scott R. Schaecher, Andrew Pekosz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMolecular Biology of the SARS-Coronavirus
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9783642036828
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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