Translation reinitiation and leaky scanning in plant viruses

Virus Res. 2006 Jul;119(1):52-62. doi: 10.1016/j.virusres.2005.10.017. Epub 2005 Dec 2.


While translation of mRNAs in eukaryotic cells in general follows strict rules, viruses infecting these cells break those rules in various ways. Viruses are under high selection pressure to compete with the host, to economize genome size, and to accommodate signals for replication, virus assembly, etc., on their RNAs as well as using them for translation. The cornucopia of extraordinary translation strategies, such as leaky scanning, internal initiation of translation, ribosome shunt, and virus-controlled reinitiation of translation, evolved by viruses continues to surprise and inform our understanding of general translation mechanisms. While internal initiation is treated in another section of this issue, we concentrate on leaky scanning, shunt and reinitiation, with emphasis on plant pararetroviruses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Codon
  • Peptide Chain Initiation, Translational*
  • Plant Viruses / genetics*
  • Plant Viruses / metabolism
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • RNA, Viral / metabolism
  • Ribosomes / genetics
  • Ribosomes / metabolism*


  • Codon
  • RNA, Viral