[Frontiers in Bioscience 18, 696-715, January 1, 2013]
Matrix proteins as centralized organizers of negative-sense RNA virions
Lassi Liljeroos1,2, Sarah J. Butcher1
1Institute of Biotechnology (Structural Biology and Biophysics), University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland, 2Department of Biosciences, P.O. Box 65, (Viikinkaari 1), FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Matrix proteins are essential components of most negative-sense RNA, enveloped viruses. They serve a wide range of duties ranging from self-driven membrane budding and coordination of other viral components to modulation of viral transcription. The functional similarity between these proteins is striking, despite major differences in their structures. Whereas biochemical and structural studies have partly been hindered by the inherent aggregation properties of these proteins, their cellular functions are beginning to be understood. In this review we summarize the current knowledge on negative-sense RNA virus matrix proteins and their interactions with other viral and cellular proteins. We also discuss the similarities and differences in matrix protein functions between the different families within the negative-sense RNA viruses.