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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Recruitment of activated IRF-3 and CBP/p300 to herpes simplex virus ICP0 nuclear foci: Potential role in blocking IFN-beta induction.

The host innate response to viral infection includes the production of interferons, which is dependent on the coordinated activity of multiple transcription factors. Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) has been shown to block efficient interferon expression by multiple mechanisms. We and others have demonstrated that HSV-1 can inhibit the transcription of genes promoted by interferon regulatory factor-3 (IRF-3), including interferon beta (IFN-beta), and that the immediate-early ICP0 protein is sufficient for this function. However, the exact mechanism by which ICP0 blocks IRF-3 activity has yet to be determined. Unlike some other viral proteins that inhibit IRF-3 activity, ICP0 does not appear to affect phosphorylation and dimerization of IRF-3. Here, we show that a portion of activated IRF-3 co-localizes with nuclear foci containing ICP0 at early times after virus infection. Co-localization to ICP0-containing foci is also seen with the IRF-3-binding partners and transcriptional co-activators, CBP and p300. In addition, using immunoprecipitation of infected cell lysates, we can immunoprecipitate a complex containing ICP0, IRF-3, and CBP. Thus we hypothesize that ICP0 recruits activated IRF-3 and CBP/p300 to nuclear structures, away from the host chromatin. This leads to the inactivation and accelerated degradation of IRF-3, resulting in reduced transcription of IFN-beta and an inhibition of the host response. Therefore, ICP0 provides an example of how viruses can block IFN-beta induction by sequestration of important transcription factors essential for the host response.[1]


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