Detection and Biological Implications of Genetic Memory in Viral Quasispecies

  • Esteban Domingo
  • Carmen M. Ruiz-Jarabol
  • Armando Ariasl
  • Cristina Escarmís
  • Carmen Molina-París
  • Carlos Briones
  • Eric Baranowski
Part of the Developments in Cardiovascular Medicine book series (DICM, volume 248)

Abstract

Infection of an organism or cells in culture with a single infectious genome of an RNA virus results in the prompt formation of a spectrum of mutants, as has been experimentally documented with representatives of the major groups of RNA virus pathogens.1 This fact is critical for the understanding of viral pathogenesis, since it means that a virus does not exist as a genetically defined entity but rather as a distribution of genomes which differ from each other in one or several positions in their nucleotide sequence (figure 1). Some of these closely related but non-identical genomes may have biological properties which differ from those of the average viral population or from those of other components of the mutant spectrum. Thus, genetic heterogeneity is paralleled by a phenotypic heterogeneity in viral populations. Well documented examples are the presence in mutant spectra of variants with altered antigenicity, host cell tropism, capacity to induce interferon, decreased sensitivity to antiviral inhibitors, or variants which display altered patterns of viral gene expression (specific examples and reviews in refs. 2-13).

Keywords

Hepatitis Codon Recombination Interferon Cardiomyopathy 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Esteban Domingo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Carmen M. Ruiz-Jarabol
    • 1
  • Armando Ariasl
    • 1
  • Cristina Escarmís
    • 1
  • Carmen Molina-París
    • 2
  • Carlos Briones
    • 2
  • Eric Baranowski
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Centro de Biología Molecular “Severo Ochoa” (CSIC-UAM)Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, CantoblancoMadridSpain
  2. 2.Mathematics InstituteUniversity of WarwickCoventryUK
  3. 3.CISA-lNIA, ValdeolmosMadridSpain

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