Translational control in positive strand RNA plant viruses


Publication Type:

Journal Article


Virology, Volume 344, Number 1, p.185-97 (2006)


0042-6822 (Print)<br/>0042-6822 (Linking)

Accession Number:



3' Untranslated Regions, Codon, Terminator, Frameshifting, Ribosomal, Genome, Viral, Plant Viruses/ genetics/metabolism, Protein Biosynthesis, RNA Caps, RNA Viruses/ genetics/metabolism, Viral Proteins/metabolism


The great variety of genome organizations means that most plant positive strand viral RNAs differ from the standard 5'-cap/3'-poly(A) structure of eukaryotic mRNAs. The cap and poly(A) tail recruit initiation factors that support the formation of a closed loop mRNA conformation, the state in which translation initiation is most efficient. We review the diverse array of cis-acting sequences present in viral mRNAs that compensate for the absence of a cap, poly(A) tail, or both. We also discuss the cis-acting sequences that control translation strategies that both amplify the coding potential of a genome and regulate the accumulations of viral gene products. Such strategies include leaky scanning initiation of translation of overlapping open reading frames, stop codon readthrough, and ribosomal frameshifting. Finally, future directions for research on the translation of plant positive strand viruses are discussed.


Dreher, Theo W<br/>Miller, W Allen<br/>R01 GM067104/GM/NIGMS NIH HHS/United States<br/>R01-GM067104/GM/NIGMS NIH HHS/United States<br/>Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural<br/>Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.<br/>Review<br/>United States<br/>Virology. 2006 Jan 5;344(1):185-97.