Viruses are dependent upon the host cell protein synthesis machinery, thus they have developed a range of strategies to manipulate host translation to favour viral protein synthesis. Consequently, the study of viral translation has been a powerful tool for illuminating many aspects of cellular translational control. Although much work to date has focused on translational regulation by RNA viruses, DNA viruses have also evolved complex mechanisms to regulate protein synthesis. Here we summarize work on a large family of DNA viruses, the Herpesviridae, which have evolved mechanisms to sustain efficient cap-dependent translation and to regulate the translation of specific viral mRNAs.

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