The Hill Lab @ York
Molecular mechanisms of viral gene expression
Viruses do things differently
Translation of mRNA by the ribosome is essential for all life. It’s normally exceptionally accurate, with spontaneous error rates of only ~1 in 100,000 codons.
When RNA viruses infect cells, they use the ribosomes in the host cell to translate their genomes. However, they often force the ribosome to make 'mistakes' - e.g. shift into a different reading frame, initiate in a different place, or read through a stop codon.
These ‘forced errors’ are actually tightly-regulated events that are vitally important to viral gene expression. If disrupted, many viruses fail to complete their replication cycles. We're trying to better understand these events at a molecular level.
A comprehensive review covering the structural and mechanistic basis of programmed -1 ribosomal frameshifting (-1PRF) in RNA viruses. Here we provide a summary of historical perspectives, highlight recent advances and discuss to what extent a general model for −1PRF remains a useful way of thinking.
Department of Biology
University of York
+44 (0)1904 328688