1887

Abstract

Infection with human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) modulates the expression of a number of cellular receptors and is known to inhibit expression of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), a cell surface receptor that can promote cell proliferation through a cascade of intracellular signalling events. We have examined the mechanisms by which HCMV mediates downregulation of EGFR expression and show that virus infection results in the profound upregulation of Wilms' Tumour 1 (WT1) protein, a transcription factor associated with the negative regulation of a number of growth factors and growth factor receptors, including EGFR. Moreover, chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments also show that HCMV infection results in increased binding of WT1 to the EGFR promoter. Finally, we show that depleting the cell of WT1 using small interfering RNA abrogates virus-mediated downregulation of EGFR. Taken together, our observations suggest that HCMV-mediated repression of EGFR expression results from a virus-mediated increase in cellular WT1, a known pleiotropic regulator of mitogenesis, apoptosis and differentiation.

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2009-07-01
2020-01-21
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