Interplay between viruses and host mRNA degradation

Krishna Narayanan, Shinji Makino

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Messenger RNA degradation is a fundamental cellular process that plays a critical role in regulating gene expression by controlling both the quality and the abundance of mRNAs in cells. Naturally, viruses must successfully interface with the robust cellular RNA degradation machinery to achieve an optimal balance between viral and cellular gene expression and establish a productive infection in the host. In the past several years, studies have discovered many elegant strategies that viruses have evolved to circumvent the cellular RNA degradation machinery, ranging from disarming the RNA decay pathways and co-opting the factors governing cellular mRNA stability to promoting host mRNA degradation that facilitates selective viral gene expression and alters the dynamics of host-pathogen interaction. This review summarizes the current knowledge of the multifaceted interaction between viruses and cellular mRNA degradation machinery to provide an insight into the regulatory mechanisms that influence gene expression in viral infections. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: RNA Decay mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)732-741
Number of pages10
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Gene Regulatory Mechanisms
Issue number6-7
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • Deadenylation
  • Decapping
  • Endonuclease
  • MRNA decay pathways
  • RNase L
  • Viruses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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