Curcumin inhibits herpes simplex virus immediate-early gene expression by a mechanism independent of p300/CBP histone acetyltransferase activity

Sebla B. Kutluay, James Doroghazi, Martha E. Roemer, Steven J. Triezenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

95 Scopus citations

Abstract

Curcumin, a phenolic compound from the curry spice turmeric, exhibits a wide range of activities in eukaryotic cells, including antiviral effects that are at present incompletely characterized. Curcumin is known to inhibit the histone acetyltransferase activity of the transcriptional coactivator proteins p300 and CBP, which are recruited to the immediate early (IE) gene promoters of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) by the viral transactivator protein VP16. We tested the hypothesis that curcumin, by inhibiting these coactivators, would block viral infection and gene expression. In cell culture assays, curcumin significantly decreased HSV-1 infectivity and IE gene expression. Entry of viral DNA to the host cell nucleus and binding of VP16 to IE gene promoters was not affected by curcumin, but recruitment of RNA polymerase II to those promoters was significantly diminished. However, these effects were observed using lower curcumin concentrations than those required to substantially inhibit global H3 acetylation. No changes were observed in histone H3 occupancy or acetylation at viral IE gene promoters. Furthermore, p300 and CBP recruitment to IE gene promoters was not affected by the presence of curcumin. Finally, disruption of p300 expression using a short hairpin RNA did not affect viral IE gene expression. These results suggest that curcumin affects VP16-mediated recruitment of RNA polymerase II to IE gene promoters by a mechanism independent of p300/CBP histone acetyltransferase activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-247
Number of pages9
JournalVirology
Volume373
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 10 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Chromatin
  • Coactivator
  • Curcumin
  • Lytic infection
  • Transcriptional activation
  • VP16

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