A case of convergent evolution: Several viral and bacterial pathogens hijack RSK kinases through a common linear motif.

Last updated on 10-8-2022 by Michael Peeters

Public Access


Peer reviewed scientific article



Microbes have been coevolving with their host for millions of years, exploiting host resources to their own benefit. We show that viral and bacterial pathogens convergently evolved to hijack cellular mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) p90-ribosomal S6-kinases (RSKs). Theiler’s virus leader (L) protein binds RSKs and prevents their dephosphorylation, thus maintaining the kinases active. Recruitment of RSKs enables L-protein-mediated inhibition of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 alpha kinase 2 (EIF2AK2 or PKR) and stress granule formation. Strikingly, ORF45 protein of Kaposi’s…

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