Friday, January 21, 2011

Herpes Simplex Virus is Akt-ing in translational control

Yes, that is actually the title of the scientific paper published in Genes and Development.  I laughed out loud when I first read it. Who knew that Virologists could be so punny? Maybe the author had Bob for a class once…

Anyways, I like this article because it is an example of viral control in host gene regulation.  It was found that Herpes Simplex Virus—1 counteracts the innate host response by using viral kinase Us3 to mimic cellular kinase Akt to repress tuberous sclerosis complex 2 and activate the target rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) and enhance mRNA translation.

Herpesviruses interfere with the TSC/mTORC/4E-BP/eIF4E signaling cascades in many ways to make sure that protein synthesis continues in infected cells despite the innate immune systems attempts to stop it. Human cytomegalocivrus (HCMV), Epstein-Barr virus, and Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpes virus all have been documented to interfere in a different way. 

-Lauren Platt


Norman, K. L. and Sarnow, P. Herpes Simplex Virus is Akt-ing in translational control.  Genes & Dev. 2010. 24, 2583-2586.
Doi: 10.1101/gad.2004510 Genes & Dev. 2010. 24: 2583-2586

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