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Virus Res. 2006 Jul;119(1):2-15. Epub 2005 Dec 27.

Internal initiation: IRES elements of picornaviruses and hepatitis c virus.

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NRL, PBC, Department of Life Science, Division of Molecular and Life Sciences, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang 790-784, Republic of Korea.


The scanning hypothesis provides an explanation for events preceding the first peptide bond formation during the translation of the vast majority of eukaryotic mRNAs. However, this hypothesis does not explain the translation of eukaryotic mRNAs lacking the cap structure required for scanning. The existence of a group of positive sense RNA viruses lacking cap structures (e.g. picornaviruses) indicates that host cells also contain a 5' cap-independent translation mechanism. This review discusses the translation mechanisms of atypical viral mRNAs such as picornaviruses and hepatitis c virus, and uses these mechanisms to propose a general theme for all translation, including that of both eukaryotic and prokaryotic mRNAs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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