As obligate intracellular parasites, viruses are dependent on their infected hosts for survival. Consequently, viruses are under enormous selective pressure to utilize available cellular components and processes to their own advantage. As most, if not all, cellular activities are regulated at some level via protein interactions, host protein interaction networks are particularly vulnerable to viral exploitation. Indeed, viral proteins frequently target highly connected “hub” proteins to “hack” the cellular network, defining the molecular basis for viral control over the host. This widespread and successful strategy of network intrusion and exploitation has evolved convergently among numerous genetically distinct viruses as a result of the endless evolutionary arms race between pathogens and hosts. Here we examine the means by which a particularly well-connected viral hub protein, human adenovirus E1A, compromises and exploits the vulnerabilities of eukaryotic protein interaction networks. Importantly, these interactions identify critical regulatory hubs in the human proteome and help define the molecular basis of their function.
King, C. R., Zhang, A., Tessier, T. M., Gameiro, S. F., & Mymryk, J. S. (2018). Hacking the Cell: Network Intrusion and Exploitation by Adenovirus E1A. MBio, 9(3). https://doi.org/10.1128/mbio.00390-18