Viral subversion of the host protein synthesis machinery

Derek Walsh*, Ian Mohr

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

316 Scopus citations


Viruses are fully reliant on the translation machinery of their host cells to produce the polypeptides that are essential for viral replication. Consequently, viruses recruit host ribosomes to translate viral mRNAs, typically using virally encoded functions to seize control of cellular translation factors and the host signalling pathways that regulate their activity. This not only ensures that viral proteins will be produced, but also stifles innate host defences that are aimed at inhibiting the capacity of infected cells for protein synthesis. Remarkably, nearly every step of the translation process can be targeted by virally encoded functions. This Review discusses the diverse strategies that viruses use to subvert host protein synthesis functions and regulate mRNA translation in infected cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)860-875
Number of pages16
JournalNature Reviews Microbiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Infectious Diseases


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