Self-assembly is a fundamental process in the virus life cycle. During this process, thousands of viral structural proteins interact through specific molecular recognition to form an intact functional particle that encapsidates the virus genome. Another prominent virus assembly process occurs upon infection of the host cell is the formation of organelle-like structures termed viral factories, viroplasms, or replication organelles. These compartments host the replication of the virus genome and the production of new proteins and they are thought to be involve in the virus escape mechanism from the antiviral immune response. Recent evidence show that viral factories are formed by liquid-liquid phase separation of multicomponent building blocks. We are intrigued by the self-assembly process of viruses and are especially interested in unraveling the mechanism of viral factories formation by using in vitromodels. These insights can facilitate the development of antiviral therapies that target the formation of virus assemblies.
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