Characterization of herpes simplex virus 2 primary microRNA transcript regulation

Shuang Tang, Marta Bosch-Marce, Amita Patel, Todd P. Margolis, Philip R. Krause

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


In order to understand factors that may influence latency-associated transcription and latency-associated transcript (LAT) phenotypes, we studied the expression of the herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) LAT-associated microRNAs (miRNAs). We mapped the transcription initiation sites of all three primary miRNA transcripts and identified the ICP4-binding sequences at the transcription initiation sites of both HSV-2 LAT (pri-miRNA for miR-I and miR-II, which target ICP34.5, and miR-III, which targets ICP0) and L/ST (a pri-miRNA for miR-I and miR-II) but not at that of the primary miR-H6 (for which the target is unknown). We confirmed activity of the putative HSV-2 L/ST promoter and found that ICP4 trans-activates the L/ST promoter when the ICP4-binding site at its transcription initiation site is mutated, suggesting that ICP4 may play a dual role in regulating transcription of L/ST and, consequently, of miR-I and miR-II. LAT exon 1 (containing LAT enhancer sequences), together with the LAT promoter region, comprises a bidirectional promoter required for the expression of both LAT-encoded miRNAs and miR-H6 in latently infected mouse ganglia. The ability of ICP4 to suppress ICP34.5-targeting miRNAs and to activate lytic viral genes suggests that ICP4 could play a key role in the switch between latency and reactivation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4837-4848
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2015


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