Structure and regulation of coronavirus genomes: State-of-the-art and novel insights from SARS-CoV-2 studies

Ilaria Manfredonia, Danny Incarnato*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
71 Downloads (Pure)


Coronaviruses (CoV) are positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses, harboring the largest viral RNA genomes known to date. Apart from the primary sequence encoding for all the viral proteins needed for the generation of new viral particles, certain regions of CoV genomes are known to fold into stable structures, controlling several aspects of CoV life cycle, from the regulation of the discontinuous transcription of subgenomic mRNAs, to the packaging of the genome into new virions. Here we review the current knowledge on CoV RNA structures, discussing it in light of the most recent discoveries made possible by analyses of the SARS-CoV-2 genome.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberBST20200670
Pages (from-to)341-352
Number of pages12
JournalBiochemical Society Transactions
Issue number1
Early online date24-Dec-2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2021


  • coronavirus
  • RNA structure
  • SARS-CoV-2

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