At the centre: influenza A virus ribonucleoproteins

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2015 Jan;13(1):28-41. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro3367. Epub 2014 Nov 24.


Influenza A viral ribonucleoprotein (vRNP) complexes comprise the eight genomic negative-sense RNAs, each of which is bound to multiple copies of the vRNP and a trimeric viral polymerase complex. The influenza virus life cycle centres on the vRNPs, which in turn rely on host cellular processes to carry out functions that are necessary for the successful completion of the virus life cycle. In this Review, we discuss our current knowledge about vRNP trafficking within host cells and the function of these complexes in the context of the virus life cycle, highlighting how structure contributes to function and the crucial interactions with host cell pathways, as well as on the information gaps that remain. An improved understanding of how vRNPs use host cell pathways is essential to identify mechanisms of virus pathogenicity, host adaptation and, ultimately, new targets for antiviral intervention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans
  • Influenza A virus*
  • Influenza, Human
  • Ribonucleoproteins*
  • Viral Proteins*


  • Ribonucleoproteins
  • Viral Proteins