Tombusviruses orchestrate the host endomembrane system to create elaborate membranous replication organelles

Peter D. Nagy, Zhike Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Citations (SciVal)


Positive-strand RNA viruses depend on intensive manipulation of subcellular organelles and membranes to create unique viral replication organelles (VROs), which represent the sites of robust virus replication. The host endomembrane-based protein-trafficking and vesicle-trafficking pathways are specifically targeted by many (+)RNA viruses to take advantage of their rich resources. We summarize the critical roles of co-opted endoplasmic reticulum subdomains and associated host proteins and COPII vesicles play in tombusvirus replication. We also present the surprising contribution of the early endosome and the retromer tubular transport carriers to VRO biogenesis. The central player is tomato bushy stunt virus (TBSV), which provides an outstanding system based on the identification of a complex network of interactions with the host cells. We present the emerging theme on how TBSV uses tethering and membrane-shaping proteins and lipid modifying enzymes to build the sophisticated VRO membranes with unique lipid composition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-41
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Opinion in Virology
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The confocal images are kindly provided by Dr Kai Xu. This study was supported by the National Science Foundation ( MCB-1122039 and IOS-1922895 ) and a USDA hatch grant ( KY012042 ) to PDN.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology


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