1887

Abstract

NF-E2 related factor 2 (Nrf2) is a transcription factor that plays a key role(s) in cellular defence against oxidative stress. In this study, we showed that the expression of Nrf2 was upregulated in primary human foreskin fibroblasts (HFFs), following human cytomegalovirus (HCMV/HHV-5) infection. The expression of haem oxygenase-1, a downstream target of Nrf2, was also increased by HCMV infection, and this induction was suppressed in HFFs expressing a small hairpin RNA (shRNA) against Nrf2. The HCMV-mediated increase in Nrf2 expression was abolished when UV-irradiated virus was used or when the activity of casein kinase 2 was inhibited. Host cells infected by HCMV had higher survival rates following oxidative stress induced by buthionine sulfoximine compared with uninfected control cells, but this cell-protective effect was abolished by the use of Nrf2 shRNA. Our results suggest that HCMV-mediated activation of Nrf2 might be beneficial to the virus by increasing the host cell’s ability to cope with oxidative stress resulting from viral infection and/or inflammation.

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2013-07-01
2019-10-16
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