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Cell Host Microbe. 2012 Oct 18;12(4):470-83. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2012.09.006.

Host translation at the nexus of infection and immunity.

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Department of Microbiology, NYU Cancer Institute, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA.


By controlling gene expression at the level of mRNA translation, organisms temporally and spatially respond swiftly to an ever-changing array of environmental conditions. This capacity for rapid response is ideally suited for mobilizing host defenses and coordinating innate responses to infection. Not surprisingly, a growing list of pathogenic microbes target host mRNA translation for inhibition. Infection with bacteria, protozoa, viruses, and fungi has the capacity to interfere with ongoing host protein synthesis and thereby trigger and/or suppress powerful innate responses. This review discusses how diverse pathogens manipulate the host translation machinery and the impact of these interactions on infection biology and the immune response.

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