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

Inhibition of cellular 2'-5' oligoadenylate synthetase by the herpes simplex virus type 1 Us11 protein.

Among the many host genes induced by virus infection and interferon, the eIF2alpha protein kinase PKR and the 2'-5' oligoadenylate synthetase (OAS) are both activated by double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) produced in virus-infected cells. Furthermore, each is a critical component that independently acts to inhibit virus replication and thereby contributes to the establishment of an antiviral state. As part of their tactics to foil host defense mechanisms, some viruses prevent the induction of interferon-responsive genes at the level of transcription. Other viruses, such as herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), can additionally replicate in interferon-treated cells and must also evade the actions of host defense proteins such as PKR and OAS that have been previously synthesized and merely await detection of an activating signal. Whereas HSV-1 gene products gamma(1)34.5 and Us11 are required for viral replication in interferon-treated cells and both act in a temporally coordinated manner during infection to counteract PKR, HSV-1 functions that target OAS have not been described. Here, we demonstrate that HSV-1 infection inhibits 2'-5' oligoadenylate synthesis in interferon-stimulated primary human cells. The OAS-inhibiting activity is generated late in the virus' productive life cycle and requires the Us11 gene product. Moreover, we establish that the Us11 protein is sufficient to block OAS activation in extracts from uninfected, interferon-treated cells. Inhibition of OAS specifically requires the Us11 dsRNA-binding domain, suggesting a mechanism that, in part, relies on sequestering available dsRNA produced during infection. Thus, in addition to PKR and its protein activator, PACT, the HSV-1 Us11 gene product is able to counteract the activity of OAS, a third cellular protein critical for host defense.[1]


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