Recoding Mechanisms in Infections
Many important viruses such as Ebola, Influenza, and HIV use RNA as genetic material. These viruses have an extremely small genome size compared to the eukaryotic host genomes, and therefore employ various alternative translation strategies such as stop codon read through, leaky scanning, non-IRES initiation and ribosome frameshifting to express their genes by the host translation machinery. Interestingly, the same strategies are also used in the host’s cellular gene expression. With our research we aim to understand how translational recoding changes the rules of standard decoding, allows simultaneous encoding of multiple proteins from the same mRNA and regulates gene expression in time and space.