With just ten major proteins, influenza A virus (IAV) must gain entry to both cell and nucleus, transcribe and replicate its genome, and then perform the inverse of the entry process in order to egress and spread. To achieve this, the virus must introduce new components that change viral biology as the infection progresses. We believe one major component that orchestrates these changes derives from small virus-encoded RNAs (svRNAs) that engage and modulate the viral RNA dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp). This grant focuses on defining how svRNAs change the function of the viral RdRp during the course of infection. The knowledge gained from these studies will significantly contribute to our understanding of IAV biology and may provide an entirely new direction towards the future development of novel therapeutics.
A comprehensive understanding of influenza A virus (IAV) biology is imperative should we wish to develop an effective long-term solution to this global burden. This proposal focuses on the biology of the RNA dependent RNA polymerase and its interaction with small virus-derived RNAs (svRNAs). The research outlined here will enable a greater understanding of how IAV coordinates infection of the cell and effectively replicates.