Viral Regulation of RNA Granules in Infected Cells

Virol Sin. 2019 Apr;34(2):175-191. doi: 10.1007/s12250-019-00122-3. Epub 2019 Apr 29.


RNA granules are cytoplasmic, microscopically visible, non-membrane ribo-nucleoprotein structures and are important posttranscriptional regulators in gene expression by controlling RNA translation and stability. TIA/G3BP/PABP-specific stress granules (SG) and GW182/DCP-specific RNA processing bodies (PB) are two major distinguishable RNA granules in somatic cells and contain various ribosomal subunits, translation factors, scaffold proteins, RNA-binding proteins, RNA decay enzymes and helicases to exclude mRNAs from the cellular active translational pool. Although SG formation is inducible due to cellular stress, PB exist physiologically in every cell. Both RNA granules are important components of the host antiviral defense. Virus infection imposes stress on host cells and thus induces SG formation. However, both RNA and DNA viruses must confront the hostile environment of host innate immunity and apply various strategies to block the formation of SG and PB for their effective infection and multiplication. This review summarizes the current research development in the field and the mechanisms of how individual viruses suppress the formation of host SG and PB for virus production.

Keywords: DNA virus; P-bodies (PB); RNA virus; Stress granules (SG).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytoplasmic Granules / metabolism*
  • DNA Viruses / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Host Microbial Interactions / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Mice
  • RNA / metabolism*
  • RNA Viruses / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • Virus Replication


  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Viral
  • RNA