Translating the language of giants: translation-related genes as a major contribution of giant viruses to the virosphere.Arch Virol. 2020 Jun; 165(6):1267-1278.AV
Giant viruses of amoebas are a remarkable group of viruses. In addition to their large size and peculiar structures, the genetic content of these viruses is also special. Among the genetic features of these viruses that stand out is the presence of coding regions for elements involved in translation, a complex biological process that occurs in cellular organisms. No viral genome described so far has such a complex genetic arsenal as those of giant viruses, which code for several of these elements. Currently, tupanviruses have the most complete set of translation genes in the known virosphere. In this review, we have condensed what is currently known about translation genes in different groups of giant viruses and theorize about their biological importance, origin, and evolution, and what might possibly be found in the coming years.