Herpesviral latency-associated transcript gene promotes assembly of heterochromatin on viral lytic-gene promoters in latent infection
Johnson, Karen E.
Colgrove, Robert C.
Coen, Donald M.
Knipe, David M.
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CitationWang, Q.-Y., C. Zhou, K. E. Johnson, R. C. Colgrove, D. M. Coen, and D. M. Knipe. 2005. “Herpesviral Latency-Associated Transcript Gene Promotes Assembly of Heterochromatin on Viral Lytic-Gene Promoters in Latent Infection.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 102 (44): 16055–59. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0505850102.
AbstractHerpes simplex virus (HSV) persists in its human host and evades the immune response by undergoing a latent infection in sensory neurons, from which it can reactivate periodically. HSV expresses > 80 gene products during productive ("lytic") infection, but only the latency-associated transcript (LAT) gene is expressed at abundant levels during latent infection. The LAT gene has been shown to repress lytic-gene expression in sensory neurons. In this study, we use chromatin immunoprecipitation to show that HSV lytic gene promoters become complexed with modified histories associated with heterochromatin during the course of establishment of latent infection. Experiments comparing LAT-negative and LAT-positive viruses show that a function encoded by the LAT gene increases the amount of dimethyl lysine 9 form of histone H3 or heterochromatin and reduces the amount of dimethyl lysine 4 form of histone H3, a part of active chromatin, on viral lytic-gene promoters. Thus, HSV, and in particular the HSV LAT gene, may manipulate the cellular histone modification machinery to repress its lytic-gene expression and contribute to the persistence of its genome in a quiescent form in sensory neurons.
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