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Mary K.

Shawn O. Farrell

Chapter 14
Viruses, Cancer, and Immunology

Paul D. Adams University of Arkansas

What is a virus?
Are viruses livings things?

They cannot reproduce independently

They cannot make proteins independently
They cannot generate energy independently

Simplest definition: A relatively

small amount of genetic material
surrounded by a protein envelope.

Viruses are pathogens
of bacteria, plants, and
Can be deadly (e.g.,
Ebola, HIV)
Can be merely annoying
(e.g., Rhinovirus)
Viruses are small
particles composed of
nucleic acid and protein

Architecture of a Virus
Entire particle is known as a
Capsid- surround the center of
the virion
Nucleocapsid- combination of
the nucleic acid and the capsid
Membrane envelopesurrounds the nucleocapsid
Protein spikes- help viruses
attach themselves to the host

What determines the family in which a virus is

1. Genomic material
2. Membrane Envelope
Present or absent?
3. Method of incorporation
Nucleic acid remains
separate? Nucleic acid
joins with the host

Families of Viruses

Size and shape of viruses

Electron micrograph of virus

Left- Hexagonal (bacteriophage T2 virus); Right- Rod-shaped (Tobacco mosaic virus)

Viruses are usually much smaller than bacteria. Most range in size from 5- 300 nm,
although some Paramyxoviruses can be up to 14,000nm long.

Virus Life Cycle (Lytic Pathway vs Lysogenic

Lytic Pathway
1. Binding
2. Release of DNA into the cell
3. Viral DNA is then replicated by
host DNA polymerases &
transcribed by host RNA
4. Viral proteins are produced.
5. Viral assembly
6. Release of viruses from the cell
causes cell lysis