RACK1 Regulates Poxvirus Protein Synthesis Independently of Its Role in Ribosome-Based Stress Signaling

Chorong Park, Derek Walsh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Receptor for activated C kinase 1 (RACK1) is a small ribosomal subunit protein that is phosphorylated by vaccinia virus (VacV) to maximize translation of postreplicative (PR) mRNAs that harbor 59 polyA leaders. However, RACK1 is a multifunctional protein that both controls translation directly and acts as a scaffold for signaling to and from the ribosome. This includes stress signaling that is activated by ribosomeassociated quality control (RQC) and ribotoxic stress response (RSR) pathways. As VacV infection activates RQC and stress signaling, whether RACK1 influences viral protein synthesis through its effects on translation, signaling, or both remains unclear. Examining the effects of genetic knockout of RACK1 on the phosphorylation of key mitogenic and stress-related kinases, we reveal that loss of RACK1 specifically blunts the activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase/stress-activated protein kinase (JNK/SAPK) at late stages of infection. However, RACK1 was not required for JNK recruitment to ribosomes, and unlike RACK1 knockout, JNK inhibitors had no effect on viral protein synthesis. Moreover, reduced JNK activity during infection in RACK1 knockout cells contrasted with the absolute requirement for RACK1 in RSR-induced JNK phosphorylation. Comparing the effects of RACK1 knockout alongside inhibitors of late stage replication, our data suggest that JNK activation is only indirectly affected by the absence of RACK1 due to reduced viral protein accumulation. Cumulatively, our findings in the context of infection add further support for a model whereby RACK1 plays a specific and direct role in controlling translation of PR viral mRNAs that is independent of its role in ribosome-based stress signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • RACK1
  • poxvirus
  • ribosome
  • ribosome quality control
  • ribotoxic stress responses
  • signaling
  • stress
  • stress signaling
  • translation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science
  • Virology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'RACK1 Regulates Poxvirus Protein Synthesis Independently of Its Role in Ribosome-Based Stress Signaling'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this