RNA Sequence Features Are at the Core of Influenza A Virus Genome Packaging

J Mol Biol. 2019 Oct 4;431(21):4217-4228. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2019.03.018. Epub 2019 Mar 23.


The influenza A virus (IAV), a respiratory pathogen for humans, poses serious medical and economic challenges to global healthcare systems. The IAV genome, consisting of eight single-stranded viral RNA segments, is incorporated into virions by a complex process known as genome packaging. Specific RNA sequences within the viral RNA segments serve as signals that are necessary for genome packaging. Although efficient packaging is a prerequisite for viral infectivity, many of the mechanistic details about this process are still missing. In this review, we discuss the recent advances toward the understanding of IAV genome packaging and focus on the RNA features that play a role in this process.

Keywords: genome packaging; influenza virus; reassortment.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Genome, Viral / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Influenza A virus / genetics*
  • Influenza A virus / metabolism*
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • Virus Assembly / genetics
  • Virus Assembly / physiology


  • RNA, Viral