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Trends Plant Sci. 2006 Jan;11(1):40-5. Epub 2005 Dec 15.

Translation initiation factors: a weak link in plant RNA virus infection.

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Laboratoire de Génétique et Biophysique des Plantes, CEA-CNRS-Université Aix-Marseille II, Faculté des Sciences de Luminy, F-13009 Marseille, France.


Recessive resistance genes against plant viruses have been recognized for a long time but their molecular nature has only recently been linked to components of the eukaryotic translation initiation complex. Translation initiation factors, and particularly the eIF4E and eIF4G protein families, were found to be essential determinants in the outcome of RNA virus infections. Viruses affected by these genes belong mainly to potyviruses; natural viral resistance mechanisms as well as mutagenesis analysis in Arabidopsis all converged to identify the same set of translation initiation factors. Their role in plant resistance against RNA viruses remains to be elucidated. Although the interaction with the protein synthesis machinery is probably a key element for successful RNA virus infection, other possible mechanisms will also be discussed.

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