Short duration of elevated vIRF-1 expression during lytic replication of human herpesvirus 8 limits its ability to block antiviral responses induced by alpha interferon in BCBL-1 cells

Journal of Virology
Veronika P PozharskayaMargaret K Offermann

Abstract

Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) encodes multiple proteins that disrupt the host antiviral response, including viral interferon (IFN) regulatory factor 1 (vIRF-1). The product of the vIRF-1 gene blocks responses to IFN when overexpressed by transfection, but the functional consequence of vIRF-1 that is expressed during infection with HHV-8 is not known. These studies demonstrate that BCBL-1 cells that were latently infected with HHV-8 expressed low levels of vIRF-1 that were associated with PML bodies, whereas much higher levels of vIRF-1 were transiently expressed during the lytic phase of HHV-8 replication. The low levels of vIRF-1 that were associated with PML bodies were insufficient to block alpha IFN (IFN-alpha)-induced alterations in gene expression, whereas cells that expressed high levels of vIRF-1 were resistant to some changes induced by IFN-alpha, including the expression of the double-stranded-RNA-activated protein kinase. High levels of vIRF-1 were expressed for only a short period during the lytic cascade, so many cells with HHV-8 in the lytic phase responded to IFN-alpha with increased expression of antiviral genes and enhanced apoptosis. Furthermore, the production of infectious virus was severely compromised when I...Continue Reading

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