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Viral pathogenesis involves numerous interactions between viral and cellular factors. In recent years, the influenza virus polymerase complex has emerged as a major determinant of interspecies transmission and pathogenicity. The viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, in concert with the nucleoprotein, mediates transcription and replication of the viral RNA genome in the nucleus of the infected cell. The activity by which the viral polymerase complex performs these processes in mammalian cells is considered to be a major contributor to viral pathogenicity in mammals. In this chapter, we summarise our current understanding on the pathogenicity determinants in the viral polymerase complex and highlight some of its cellular interaction partners. We particularly discuss the role of importin-α isoforms in host adaptation and pathogenesis as well as the role of the viral polymerase in regulating cellular responses to viral infection.

Original publication




Journal article


Curr Top Microbiol Immunol

Publication Date





35 - 60


Animals, DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases, Humans, Influenza, Human, Orthomyxoviridae, Viral Proteins