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The unexpected roles of eukaryotic translation elongation factors in RNA virus replication and pathogenesis.

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-266
JournalMicrobiology and Molecular Biology Reviews
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2013


The prokaryotic translation elongation factors were identified as essential cofactors for RNA-dependent RNA polymerase activity of the bacteriophage Qβ more than 40 years ago. A growing body of evidence now shows that eukaryotic translation elongation factors (eEFs), predominantly eEF1A, acting in partially characterized complexes sometimes involving additional eEFs, facilitate virus replication. The functions of eEF1A as a protein chaperone and an RNA- and actin-binding protein enable its "moonlighting" roles as a virus replication cofactor. A diverse group of viruses, from human immunodeficiency type 1 and West Nile virus to tomato bushy stunt virus, have adapted to use eEFs as cofactors for viral transcription, translation, assembly, and pathogenesis. Here we review the mechanisms used by viral pathogens to usurp these abundant cellular proteins for their replication.

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