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20 Adenovirus and Vaccinia Virus Translational Control

Robert J. Schneider


Adenovirus (Ad) and vaccinia virus (VV) provoke a similar set of cellular antiviral responses during infection that are designed to block viral translation. Both viruses effectively prevent these antiviral responses, using strategies that are mechanistically quite distinct. Ad and VV also dominate host-cell protein synthesis, implementing sophisticated approaches that assure the exclusive translation of viral messenger RNAs while simultaneously suppressing those of the cell. Consequently, virus-host cell interactions at the level of translation can be especially complex, particularly if the virus employs different mechanisms to dominate protein synthesis in different types of cells. In the case of Ad and VV, certain of these mechanisms are better understood than others, and it will be evident from this review that only an incomplete understanding currently exists.

This chapter first summarizes the evidence suggesting that translational regulation of viral gene expression occurs during infection by both viruses, including the early observations that Ad and VV block the host-cell antiviral response that takes place at the level of protein synthesis. The current understanding of translational control in Ad- and VV-infected cells is then discussed, with a particular emphasis on establishing likely mechanisms for translational dominance of the host cell by each virus. (For a more detailed discussion of specific features of infection by Ad and VV and of host cell–virus interactions, see Bablanian 1984; Schneider and Shenk 1987; Moss 1990; Traktman 1990b; Mathews and Shenk 1991; Schneider and Zhang 1993; Mathews, this volume.)


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