Hepatitis A Virus Genome Organization and Replication Strategy

Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2018 Dec 3;8(12):a033480. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a033480.


Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is a positive-strand RNA virus classified in the genus Hepatovirus of the family Picornaviridae It is an ancient virus with a long evolutionary history and multiple features of its capsid structure, genome organization, and replication cycle that distinguish it from other mammalian picornaviruses. HAV proteins are produced by cap-independent translation of a single, long open reading frame under direction of an inefficient, upstream internal ribosome entry site (IRES). Genome replication occurs slowly and is noncytopathic, with transcription likely primed by a uridylated protein primer as in other picornaviruses. Newly produced quasi-enveloped virions (eHAV) are released from cells in a nonlytic fashion in a unique process mediated by interactions of capsid proteins with components of the host cell endosomal sorting complexes required for transport (ESCRT) system.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Capsid Proteins / metabolism
  • Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport / metabolism
  • Genome, Viral / genetics*
  • Hepatitis A Virus, Human / genetics
  • Hepatitis A Virus, Human / physiology
  • Hepatitis A virus / genetics*
  • Hepatitis A virus / physiology
  • Humans
  • Virion / metabolism
  • Virus Replication / physiology*


  • Capsid Proteins
  • Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport