A Common Strategy for Host RNA Degradation by Divergent Viruses

M. M. Gaglia, S. Covarrubias, W. Wong, B. A. Glaunsinger
  • Journal of Virology, June 2012, ASM Journals
  • DOI: 10.1128/jvi.01230-12

Viruses use a conserved strategy to degrade RNA

What is it about?

Several viruses restrict host gene expression by inducing widespread degradation of messenger RNA. Using a comparative analysis, Gaglia et al. show that although several of the viral proteins driving this phenotype are not homologous, the overall mechanisms by which they execute degradation appear conserved. Each selectively targets translatable RNAs, induces a primary endonucleolytic cleavage and recruits the host RNA degrading enzyme Xrn1.

Why is it important?

This mechanism bears significant similarity to cellular mRNA quality control pathways, suggesting that it is a highly efficient means of transcript elimination.

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