Even Viruses Can Learn to Cope with Stress

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Science  02 Jan 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5347, pp. 40-41
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5347.40

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When a virus infects a cell, cellular defense mechanisms are activated, sometimes even causing cell death in an effort to stem the infection. As McFadden explains in his commentary, the virus in turn marshals its own countermeasures, striving to keep the cell alive so the virus can replicate and spread. A report in this week's issue by Schisler et al. shows how one of these countermeasures--synthesis of glutathione synthase, which protects cells against oxidative damage--is used by molluscum contagiosum virus and synthesized by a unique translation control mechanism for selenoproteins.