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The RNA-dependent RNA polymerase of influenza A virus is responsible for both transcription and replication of negative-sense viral RNA. It is thought that a "switching" mechanism regulates the transition between these activities. We demonstrate that, in the presence of preexisting viral RNA polymerase and nucleoprotein (NP), influenza A virus synthesizes both mRNA (transcription) and cRNA (replication) early in infection. We suggest that there may be no switch regulating the initiation of RNA synthesis and present a model suggesting that nascent cRNA is degraded by host cell nucleases unless it is stabilized by newly synthesized viral RNA polymerase and NP.

Original publication




Journal article


J Virol

Publication Date





9568 - 9572


Cell Line, Cycloheximide, DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases, Gene Expression Regulation, Viral, Humans, Influenza A virus, Models, Biological, Nucleoproteins, Promoter Regions, Genetic, RNA Stability, RNA, Viral, RNA-Binding Proteins, Transcription, Genetic, Viral Core Proteins, Viral Proteins, Virus Replication