Open Access

Mimiviruses: Giant viruses with novel and intriguing features (Review)

  • Authors:
    • Eleni Kalafati
    • Eleni Papanikolaou
    • Evangelos Marinos
    • Nicholas P. Anagnou
    • Kalliopi I. Pappa
  • View Affiliations

  • Published online on: April 29, 2022     https://doi.org/10.3892/mmr.2022.12723
  • Article Number: 207
  • Copyright: © Kalafati et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.

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Abstract

The Mimivirus is a giant virus that infects amoebae and was long considered to be a bacterium due to its size. The viral particles are composed of a protein capsid of ~500 nm in diameter, which is enclosed in a polysaccharide layer in which ~120‑140 nm long fibers are embedded, resulting in an overall diameter of 700 nm. The virus has a genome size of 1.2 Mb DNA, and surprisingly, replicates only in the cytoplasm of the infected cells without entering the nucleus, which is a unique characteristic among DNA viruses. Their existence is undeniable; however, as with any novel discovery, there is still uncertainty concerning their pathogenicity mechanisms in humans and the nature of the Mimivirus virophage resistance element system (MIMIVIRE), a term given to describe the immune network of the Mimivirus, which closely resembles the CRISPR‑Cas system. The scope of the present review is to discuss the recent developments derived from structural and functional studies performed on the distinctive characteristics of the Mimivirus, and from studies concerning their putative clinical relevance in humans.

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June-2022
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Copy and paste a formatted citation
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Spandidos Publications style
Kalafati E, Papanikolaou E, Marinos E, Anagnou NP and Pappa KI: Mimiviruses: Giant viruses with novel and intriguing features (Review). Mol Med Rep 25: 207, 2022
APA
Kalafati, E., Papanikolaou, E., Marinos, E., Anagnou, N.P., & Pappa, K.I. (2022). Mimiviruses: Giant viruses with novel and intriguing features (Review). Molecular Medicine Reports, 25, 207. https://doi.org/10.3892/mmr.2022.12723
MLA
Kalafati, E., Papanikolaou, E., Marinos, E., Anagnou, N. P., Pappa, K. I."Mimiviruses: Giant viruses with novel and intriguing features (Review)". Molecular Medicine Reports 25.6 (2022): 207.
Chicago
Kalafati, E., Papanikolaou, E., Marinos, E., Anagnou, N. P., Pappa, K. I."Mimiviruses: Giant viruses with novel and intriguing features (Review)". Molecular Medicine Reports 25, no. 6 (2022): 207. https://doi.org/10.3892/mmr.2022.12723