Poxviruses are large double-stranded DNA viruses that form viral factories in the cytoplasm of host cells. These viruses encode their own transcription machinery, but rely on host translation for protein synthesis. Thus, poxviruses have to cope with and, in most cases, reprogram host translation regulation. Granule structures, called antiviral granules (AVGs), have been observed surrounding poxvirus viral factories. AVG formation is associated with abortive poxvirus infection, and AVGs contain proteins that are typically found in stress granules (SGs). With certain mutant poxviruses lack of immunoregulatory factor(s), we can specifically examine the mechanisms that drive the formation of these structures. In fact, cytoplasmic macromolecular complexes form during many viral infections and contain sensing molecules that can help reprogram transcription. More importantly, the similarity between AVGs and cytoplasmic structures formed during RNA and DNA sensing events prompts us to reconsider the cause and consequence of these AVGs. In this review, we first summarize recent findings regarding how poxvirus manipulates host translation. Next, we compare and contrast SGs and AVGs. Finally, we review recent findings regarding RNA- and especially DNA-sensing bodies observed during viral infection.
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