What role do processing bodies play in cell survival and protection against viral infection?

May 16, 2013
©2013 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

As scientists learn more about processing bodies (PBs), granules present within normal cells, they are unraveling the complex role PBs play in maintaining cellular homeostasis by regulating RNA metabolism and cell signaling. Emerging research is revealing how virus infection alters PBs to enhance viral replication and how, in turn, PBs are able respond and limit a virus's ability to reproduce. This novel mechanism allows PBs to contribute to the body's immune defenses, as described in an article in DNA and Cell Biology.

Asit Pattnaik and Phat Dinh, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, explore the growing knowledge base on PBs and their components, and how they interact with viruses. The authors review the literature and discuss the positive and negative consequences of PB-virus interactions and the potential implications of the role of PBs in RNA processing, cell signaling and survival, and immune function.

In the article "Manipulation of Cellular Processing Bodies and Their Constituents by Viruses," Pattnaik and Dinh describe the mechanism by which viruses may alter the composition of the PBs to benefit viral RNA replication at the expense of host cell homeostasis.

"This brief review highlights one of many important cellular processes that are subverted by viral infection," says Carol Shoshkes Reiss, PhD, Editor-in-Chief, Departments of Biology and Neural Science, New York University, NY. "The sequestration of RNA in the cytoplasm is an under-appreciated regulatory pathway."

Explore further: What is the role of double-stranded RNA in antiviral host defense systems?

More information: The article is available free on the DNA and Cell Biology website at http://www.liebertpub.com/dna.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Natural compound reduces signs of aging in healthy mice

October 27, 2016

Much of human health hinges on how well the body manufactures and uses energy. For reasons that remain unclear, cells' ability to produce energy declines with age, prompting scientists to suspect that the steady loss of efficiency ...

A metabolic switch to turn off obesity

October 27, 2016

You've tried all the diets. No matter: you've still regained the weight you lost, even though you ate well and you exercised regularly! This may be due to a particular enzyme in the brain: the alpha/beta hydrolase domain-6 ...

Scientists develop 'world-first' 3-D mammary gland model

October 27, 2016

A team of researchers from Cardiff University and Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute has succeeded in creating a three-dimensional mammary gland model that will pave the way for a better understanding of the mechanisms ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.