1887

Abstract

Human cytomegalovirus is responsible for morbidity and mortality in immune compromised patients and is the leading viral cause of congenital infection. Virus-encoded microRNAs (miRNAs) represent interesting targets for novel antiviral agents. While many cellular targets that augment productive infection have been identified in recent years, regulation of viral genes such as the major viral immediate early protein 72 (IE72) by hcmv-miR-UL112-1 may contribute to both the establishment and the maintenance of latent infection. We employed photoactivated ribonucleotide-enhanced individual nucleotide resolution crosslinking (PAR-iCLIP) to identify murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) miRNA targets during lytic infection. While the PAR-iCLIP data were of insufficient quality to obtain a comprehensive list of cellular and viral miRNA targets, the most prominent PAR-iCLIP peak in the MCMV genome mapped to the 3′ untranslated region of the major viral immediate early 3 () transcript. We show that this results from two closely positioned binding sites for the abundant MCMV miRNAs miR-M23-2-3p and miR-m01-2-3p. Their pre-expression significantly impaired viral plaque formation. However, mutation of the respective binding sites did not alter viral fitness during acute or subacute infection . Furthermore, no differences in the induction of virus-specific CD8 T cells were observed. Future studies will probably need to go beyond studying immunocompetent laboratory mice housed in pathogen-free conditions to reveal the functional relevance of viral miRNA-mediated regulation of key viral immediate early genes.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • Croatian Science Foundation (Award IP-2018-01-9086)
    • Principle Award Recipient: AstridKrmpotic
  • European Regional Development Fund (Award KK.01.1.1.01.0006)
    • Principle Award Recipient: StipanJonjic
  • NHS Blood and Transplant (Award WP11-05)
    • Principle Award Recipient: LarsDölken
  • Medical Research Council (Award G1002523)
    • Principle Award Recipient: LarsDölken
  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
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/content/journal/jgv/10.1099/jgv.0.001804
2022-11-21
2024-06-21
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