Insights from structural studies of the cardiovirus 2A protein

Biosci Rep. 2022 Jan 28;42(1):BSR20210406. doi: 10.1042/BSR20210406.


Cardioviruses are single-stranded RNA viruses of the family Picornaviridae. In addition to being the first example of internal ribosome entry site (IRES) utilization, cardioviruses also employ a series of alternative translation strategies, such as Stop-Go translation and programmed ribosome frameshifting. Here, we focus on cardiovirus 2A protein, which is not only a primary virulence factor, but also exerts crucial regulatory functions during translation, including activation of viral ribosome frameshifting and inhibition of host cap-dependent translation. Only recently, biochemical and structural studies have allowed us to close the gaps in our knowledge of how cardiovirus 2A is able to act in diverse translation-related processes as a novel RNA-binding protein. This review will summarize these findings, which ultimately may lead to the discovery of other RNA-mediated gene expression strategies across a broad range of RNA viruses.

Keywords: RNA-binding proteins; cardiovirus; translation; virology.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovirus / genetics*
  • Internal Ribosome Entry Sites* / genetics
  • Viral Proteins* / genetics


  • Internal Ribosome Entry Sites
  • Viral Proteins
  • virus protein 2A