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Inhibition of PKR by Viruses

Authors
  • Cesaro, Teresa
  • Michiels, Thomas
Type
Published Article
Journal
Frontiers in Microbiology
Publisher
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
Oct 25, 2021
Volume
12
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2021.757238
Source
Frontiers
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Microbiology
  • Review
License
Green

Abstract

Cells respond to viral infections through sensors that detect non-self-molecules, and through effectors, which can have direct antiviral activities or adapt cell physiology to limit viral infection and propagation. Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 alpha kinase 2, better known as PKR, acts as both a sensor and an effector in the response to viral infections. After sensing double-stranded RNA molecules in infected cells, PKR self-activates and majorly exerts its antiviral function by blocking the translation machinery and inducing apoptosis. The antiviral potency of PKR is emphasized by the number of strategies developed by viruses to antagonize the PKR pathway. In this review, we present an update on the diversity of such strategies, which range from preventing double-stranded RNA recognition upstream from PKR activation, to activating eIF2B downstream from PKR targets.

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