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Volume 9 (2009), Pages 1476-1497
Review Article

Molecular Biology of Rotavirus Entry and Replication

Laboratorio de Fisiología Gastrointestinal, Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Cientícas (IVIC), Caracas 20632, Venezuela

Received 19 February 2009; Revised 23 November 2009; Accepted 26 November 2009

Academic Editor: Nuno C. Santos

Copyright © 2009 Marie Christine Ruiz et al.


Rotavirus is a nonenveloped, double-stranded, RNA virus belonging to the Reoviridae family and is the major etiological agent of viral gastroenteritis in young children and young animals. Remarkable progress in the understanding of the rotavirus cycle has been made in the last 10 years. The knowledge of viral replication thus far acquired is based on structural studies, the expression and coexpression of individual viral proteins, silencing of individual genes by siRNAs, and the effects that these manipulations have on the physiology of the infected cell. The functions of the individual rotavirus proteins have been largely dissected; however, the interactions between them and with cell proteins, and the molecular mechanisms of virus replication, are just beginning to be understood. These advancements represent the basis for the development of effective vaccination and rational therapeutic strategies to combat rotavirus infection and diarrhea syndromes. In this paper, we review and try to integrate the new knowledge about rotavirus entry, replication, and assembly, and pose some of the questions that remain to be solved.