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1.  Diversion of Stress Granules and P-Bodies During Viral Infection 
Virology  2013;436(2):255-267.
RNA granules are structures within cells that impart key regulatory measures on gene expression. Two general types of RNA granules are conserved from yeast to mammals: stress granules (SGs), which contain many translation initiation factors, and processing bodies (P-bodies, PBs), which are enriched for proteins involved in RNA turnover. Because of the inverse relationship between appearance of RNA granules and persistence of translation, many viruses must subvert RNA granule function for replicative purposes. Here we discuss the viruses and mechanisms that manipulate stress granules and P-bodies to promote synthesis of viral proteins. Several themes have emerged for manipulation of RNA granules by viruses: 1) disruption of RNA granules at the mid-phase of infection, 2) prevention of RNA granule assembly throughout infection, and 3) co-opting of RNA granule proteins for new or parallel roles in viral reproduction. Viruses must employ one or multiple of these routes for a robust and productive infection to occur. The possible role for RNA granules in promoting innate immune responses poses an additional reason why viruses must counteract the effects of RNA granules for efficient replication.
doi:10.1016/j.virol.2012.11.017
PMCID: PMC3611887  PMID: 23290869
2.  Large G3BP-induced granules trigger eIF2α phosphorylation 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2012;23(18):3499-3510.
Increasing size of G3BP-induced stress granules is associated with a threshold or switch that must be triggered for eIF2α phosphorylation and subsequent translational repression to occur. Stress granules are active in signaling to the translational machinery and may be important regulators of the innate immune response.
Stress granules are large messenger ribonucleoprotein (mRNP) aggregates composed of translation initiation factors and mRNAs that appear when the cell encounters various stressors. Current dogma indicates that stress granules function as inert storage depots for translationally silenced mRNPs until the cell signals for renewed translation and stress granule disassembly. We used RasGAP SH3-binding protein (G3BP) overexpression to induce stress granules and study their assembly process and signaling to the translation apparatus. We found that assembly of large G3BP-induced stress granules, but not small granules, precedes phosphorylation of eIF2α. Using mouse embryonic fibroblasts depleted for individual eukaryotic initiation factor 2α (eIF2α) kinases, we identified protein kinase R as the principal kinase that mediates eIF2α phosphorylation by large G3BP-induced granules. These data indicate that increasing stress granule size is associated with a threshold or switch that must be triggered in order for eIF2α phosphorylation and subsequent translational repression to occur. Furthermore, these data suggest that stress granules are active in signaling to the translational machinery and may be important regulators of the innate immune response.
doi:10.1091/mbc.E12-05-0385
PMCID: PMC3442399  PMID: 22833567
3.  Animal virus schemes for translation dominance 
Current opinion in virology  2011;1(5):363-372.
Viruses have adapted a broad range of unique mechanisms to modulate the cellular translational machinery to ensure viral translation at the expense of cellular protein synthesis. Many of these promote virus-specific translation by use of molecular tags on viral mRNA such as internal ribosome entry sites (IRES) and genome-linked viral proteins (VPg) that bind translation machinery components in unusual ways and promote RNA circularization. This review describes recent advances in understanding some of the mechanisms in which animal virus mRNAs gain an advantage over cellular transcripts, including new structural and biochemical insights into IRES function and novel proteins that function as alternate met-tRNAimet carriers in translation initiation. Comparisons between animal and plant virus mechanisms that promote translation of viral mRNAs are discussed.
doi:10.1016/j.coviro.2011.10.009
PMCID: PMC3272495  PMID: 22319551
eIF2-independent; translation initiation; internal ribosome entry; IRES; animal virus
4.  Poliovirus Switches to an eIF2-Independent Mode of Translation during Infection▿ 
Journal of Virology  2011;85(17):8884-8893.
Inhibition of translation is an integral component of the innate antiviral response and is largely accomplished via interferon-activated phosphorylation of the α subunit of eukaryotic initiation factor 2 (eIF2α). To successfully infect a host, a virus must overcome this blockage by either controlling eIF2α phosphorylation or by utilizing a noncanonical mode of translation initiation. Here we show that enterovirus RNA is sensitive to translation inhibition resulting from eIF2α phosphorylation, but it becomes resistant as infection progresses. Further, we show that the cleavage of initiation factor eIF5B during enteroviral infection, along with the viral internal ribosome entry site, plays a role in mediating viral translation under conditions that are nonpermissive for host cell translation. Together, these results provide a mechanism by which enteroviruses evade the antiviral response and provide insight into a noncanonical mechanism of translation initiation.
doi:10.1128/JVI.00792-11
PMCID: PMC3165854  PMID: 21697471
5.  Insights into the Role of Yeast eIF2A in IRES-Mediated Translation 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(9):e24492.
Eukaryotic initiation factor 2A is a single polypeptide that acts to negatively regulate IRES-mediated translation during normal cellular conditions. We have found that eIF2A (encoded by YGR054w) abundance is reduced at both the mRNA and protein level during 6% ethanol stress (or 37°C heat shock) under conditions that mimic the diauxic shift in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Furthermore, eIF2A protein is posttranslationally modified during ethanol stress. Unlike ethanol and heat shock stress, H2O2 and sorbitol treatment induce the loss of eIF2A mRNA, but not protein and without protein modification. To investigate the mechanism of eIF2A function we employed immunoprecipitation-mass spectrometry and identified an interaction between eIF2A and eEF1A. The interaction between eIF2A and eEF1A increases during ethanol stress, which correlates with an increase in IRES-mediated translation from the URE2 IRES element. These data suggest that eIF2A acts as a switch to regulate IRES-mediated translation, and eEF1A may be an important mediator of translational activation during ethanol stress.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0024492
PMCID: PMC3168509  PMID: 21915340

Results 1-5 (5)