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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
We previously reported the establishment of an HEp2 cell line which expresses the US3 protein kinase (PK) of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) upon induction with IPTG. Here we report that expression, phosphorylation and ubiquitination of cytokeratin 17 (CK17) are enhanced in US3-expressing HEp2 cells. In vitro kinase and co-immunoprecipitation assays provided evidence that US3 PK directly phosphorylates CK17. Expression of US3 PK caused a significant decrease in filamentous staining of CK17, suggesting that phosphorylation of CK17 by US3 PK causes a disruption of intermediate filaments. Our observations suggest a role for US3 in the regulation of CKs and intermediate filaments in cells. Moreover, we found that infection of a keratinocyte-derived cell line, A431, with a US3-deficient virus, results in cytopathic effects that are morphologically distinct from those induced by wild-type and revertant viruses, suggesting that US3 PK may be important for interaction between HSV-2 and peripheral epithelial cells.