Deep sequencing reveals direct targets of gammaherpesvirus-induced mRNA decay and suggests that multiple mechanisms govern cellular transcript escape
- Author(s): Clyde, K
- Glaunsinger, BA
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0019655
One characteristic of lytic infection with gammaherpesviruses, including Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and murine herpesvirus 68 (MHV68), is the dramatic suppression of cellular gene expression in a process known as host shutoff. The alkaline exonuclease proteins (KSHV SOX, MHV-68 muSOX and EBV BGLF5) have been shown to induce shutoff by destabilizing cellular mRNAs. Here we extend previous analyses of cellular mRNA abundance during lytic infection to characterize the effects of SOX and muSOX, in the absence of other viral genes, utilizing deep sequencing technology (RNA-seq). Consistent with previous observations during lytic infection, the majority of transcripts are downregulated in cells expressing either SOX or muSOX, with muSOX acting as a more potent shutoff factor than SOX. Moreover, most cellular messages fall into the same expression class in both SOX- and muSOX-expressing cells, indicating that both factors target similar pools of mRNAs. More abundant mRNAs are more efficiently downregulated, suggesting a concentration effect in transcript targeting. However, even among highly expressed genes there are mRNAs that escape host shutoff. Further characterization of select escapees reveals multiple mechanisms by which cellular genes can evade downregulation. While some mRNAs are directly refractory to SOX, the steady state levels of others remain unchanged, presumably as a consequence of downstream effects on mRNA biogenesis. Collectively, these studies lay the framework for dissecting the mechanisms underlying the susceptibility of mRNA to destruction during lytic gammaherpesvirus infection. © 2011 Clyde, Glaunsinger.
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