Cap snatching

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The first step of transcription for some RNA viruses is cap snatching, in which the first 10-20 residues of a host cell RNA is removed (snatched) and used as the 5' cap of the nascent viral RNA.[1]

In the influenza virus, the cap snatching endonuclease function is contained in the PA subunit of the RNA polymerase.[2]

Drug therapy[edit]

The United States FDA approved baloxavir marboxil for treatment of acute uncomplicated influenza.[3]


  1. ^ Decroly, E; Canard, B (June 2017). "Biochemical principles and inhibitors to interfere with viral capping pathways". Current Opinion in Virology. 24: 87–96. doi:10.1016/j.coviro.2017.04.003. PMID 28527860.
  2. ^ Dias, Alexandre; Bouvier, Denis; Crépin, Thibaut; McCarthy, Andrew A.; Hart, Darren J.; Baudin, Florence; Cusack, Stephen; Ruigrok, Rob W. H. (2009-04-16). "The cap-snatching endonuclease of influenza virus polymerase resides in the PA subunit". Nature. 458 (7240): 914–918. doi:10.1038/nature07745. ISSN 1476-4687. PMID 19194459.
  3. ^ Commissioner, Office of the. "Press Announcements - FDA approves new drug to treat influenza". Retrieved 2018-10-25.