Rule of six (viruses)

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Electron micrograph of the ribonucleoprotein of mumps virus, which has a herring-bone like structure

The rule of six is a feature of some paramyxovirus genomes. These RNA viruses have genes made from RNA and not DNA, and their whole genome – that is the number of nucleotides – is always a multiple of six. This is because during their replication, these viruses are dependent on nucleoprotein molecules that each bind to six nucleotides.[1]


  1. ^ Easton, AJ and Ling R (2010). Mahy BWJ and Van Regenmortel MHV (ed.). Desk Encyclopedia of General Virology. Academic Press. p. 496. ISBN 9780123751461..