Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) is an economically devastating viral disease affecting the swine industry worldwide. The etiological agent, PRRS virus (PRRSV), possesses a RNA viral genome with nine open reading frames (ORFs). The ORF1a and ORF1b replicase-associated genes encode the polyproteins pp1a and pp1ab, respectively. The pp1a is processed in nine non-structural proteins (nsps): nsp1α, nsp1β, and nsp2 to nsp8. Proteolytic cleavage of pp1ab generates products nsp9 to nsp12. The proteolytic pp1a cleavage products process and cleave pp1a and pp1ab into nsp products. The nsp9 to nsp12 are involved in virus genome transcription and replication. The 3′ end of the viral genome encodes four minor and three major structural proteins. The GP2a, GP3 and GP4 (encoded by ORF2a, 3 and 4), are glycosylated membrane associated minor structural proteins. The fourth minor structural protein, the E protein (encoded by ORF2b), is an unglycosylated membrane associated protein. The viral envelope contains two major structural proteins: a glycosylated major envelope protein GP5 (encoded by ORF5) and an unglycosylated membrane M protein (encoded by ORF6). The third major structural protein is the nucleocapsid N protein (encoded by ORF7). All PRRSV non-structural and structural proteins are essential for virus replication, and PRRSV infectivity is relatively intolerant to subtle changes within the structural proteins. PRRSV virulence is multigenic and resides in both the non-structural and structural viral proteins. This review discusses the molecular characteristics, biological and immunological functions of the PRRSV structural and nsps and their involvement in the virus pathogenesis.