Identification and expression analysis of herpes B virus-encoded small RNAs.

Department of Virology and Immunology, Texas Biomedical Research Institute, P.O. Box 760549, San Antonio, TX 78227, USA.
Journal of Virology (Impact Factor: 4.65). 07/2011; 85(14):7296-311. DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00505-11
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Herpes B virus (BV) naturally infects macaque monkeys and is genetically similar to herpes simplex virus (HSV). Zoonotic infection of humans can cause encephalitis and if untreated has a fatality rate of ∼80%. The frequent use of macaques in biomedical research emphasizes the need to understand the molecular basis of BV pathogenesis with a view toward improving safety for those working with macaques. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs that regulate the expression of mRNAs bearing complementary target sequences and are employed by viruses to control viral and host gene expression. Using deep sequencing and validation by expression in transfected cells, we identified 12 novel BV-encoded miRNAs expressed in lytically infected cells and 4 in latently infected trigeminal ganglia (TG). Using quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (RT-qPCR), we found that most of the miRNAs exhibited a high level of abundance throughout infection. Further analyses showed that some miRNAs could be generated from multiple transcripts with different kinetic classes, possibly explaining detection throughout infection. Interestingly, miRNAs were detected at early times in the absence of viral gene expression and were present in purified virions. In TG, despite similar amounts of viral DNA per ganglion, it was notable that the relative amount of each miRNA varied between ganglia. The majority of the miRNAs are encoded by the regions that exhibit the most sequence differences between BV and HSV. Additionally, there is no sequence conservation between BV- and HSV-encoded miRNAs, which may be important for the differences in the human diseases caused by BV and HSV.

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Available from: Melanie A Amen, Dec 18, 2013
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    • "Therefore , the selectivity of coding and non-coding RNAs packaged in the virions may be family dependent. Nevertheless, the theory that RNA is selectively packaged is complicated by evidence showing that a large number of cellular RNAs are also packaged (Greijer et al., 2000; Sciortino et al., 2001; Terhune et al., 2004; Amen and Griffiths, 2011; Amen and Griffiths, unpublished data). It is possible that while viruses are selective for their own viral transcripts, the levels of cellular transcripts may " overwhelm " the virus' selective ability and these transcripts may be non-specifically incorporated. "
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