Viral RNAs: lessons from the enemy.
Viruses are adept at evolving or co-opting genomic elements that allow them to maximize their replication potential in the infected host. This evolutionary plasticity makes viruses an invaluable system to identify new mechanisms used not only by viruses but also by vertebrate cells to modulate gene expression. Here, I discuss the identification and characterization of viral mRNA structures and noncoding RNAs that have led to important insights into the molecular mechanisms of eukaryotic cells.
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