Rotaviruses are members of the Reoviridae family of non-enveloped viruses and important etiologic agents of acute gastroenteritis in infants and young children. In recent years, high-resolution structures of triple-layered rotavirus virions and the constituent proteins have provided valuable insights into functions. Of note, structural studies have revealed the position of the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, VP1, within the inner capsid, which in turn provides clues about the location of the viral capping machinery and the route of viral transcript egress. Mechanisms by which the viral spike protein, VP4, mediates receptor binding and membrane penetration have also been aided by high-resolution structural studies. Future work may serve to fill the remaining gaps in understanding of rotavirus particle structure and function.
Published by Elsevier B.V.