► The reticulon family is involved in shaping and bending the endoplasmic reticulum. ► Reticulons interact with proteins of several positive-strand RNA viruses. ► Reticulons are involved in forming the replication compartments of brome mosaic virus. ► We hypothesize on the role of reticulons in forming the replication compartments of other RNA viruses.
Positive-strand RNA [(+)RNA] viruses are responsible for numerous human, animal, and plant diseases. Because of the limiting coding capacity of (+)RNA viruses, their replication requires a complex orchestration of interactions between the viral genome, viral proteins and exploited host factors. To replicate their genomic RNAs, (+)RNA viruses induce membrane rearrangements that create membrane-linked RNA replication compartments. Along with substantial advances on the ultrastructure of the membrane-bound RNA replication compartments, recent results have shed light into the role that host factors play in rearranging these membranes. This review focuses on recent insights that have driven a new understanding of the role that the membrane-shaping host reticulon homology domain proteins (RHPs) play in facilitating the replication of various (+)RNA viruses.