Herpes simplex virus 2 MicroRNA miR-H6 is a novel latency-associated transcript-associated MicroRNA, but reduction of its expression does not influence the establishment of viral latency or the recurrence phenotype

Shuang Tang, Andrea S. Bertke, Amita Patel, Todd P. Margolis, Philip R. Krause

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

The herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) viral microRNA (miRNA) designated miR-H6 is located upstream of the latency-associated transcript (LAT) promoter region on the strand opposite the LAT. Deletion of the LAT promoter and part of LAT exon 1 abolished HSV-2 miR-H6 expression in acutely and latently infected guinea pig dorsal root ganglia (DRG), suggesting that this region is needed both for the expression of LAT-encoded miRNAs and for miR-H6 expression in vivo. Relative to cells infected with a viral rescuant, miR-H6 expression was significantly reduced in cells infected with a mutant HSV-2 virus, NotPolyA, with an insertion of a simian virus (SV40) polyadenylation signal sequence between the LAT promoter and miR-H6 sequences. In addition, expression of miR-H6, but not LAT or viral DNA, was significantly reduced in both mouse trigeminal ganglia (TG) and guinea pig DRG latently infected with the NotPolyA mutant. Guinea pigs infected with NotPolyA experienced reduced neurological complications of acute infection relative to those infected with the rescuant, but the recurrence phenotype of the NotPolyA mutant was similar to those of its rescuant and wild-type HSV-2, indicating that reduction of miR-H6 expression is not by itself able to alter the establishment of latency for the wild-type virus or the recurrence phenotype. Furthermore, the mutation in NotPolyA did not affect the propensity of wild-type HSV-2 to establish latency in neurons positive for subtype marker KH10. In contrast to published reports regarding its HSV-1 homolog, HSV-2 miR-H6 did not affect ICP4 expression in transfected or infected cells. We hypothesize that viral miRNAs associated with LAT expression are likely to work collectively, contributing to the phenotype attributed to the LAT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4501-4509
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of virology
Volume85
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2011

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