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Virology. 2007 Jul 20;364(1):21-7. Epub 2007 Apr 23.

Cloning and analysis of microRNAs encoded by the primate gamma-herpesvirus rhesus monkey rhadinovirus.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and Center for Virology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


Several pathogenic human herpesviruses have recently been shown to express virally encoded microRNAs in infected cells. Although the function of these microRNAs is largely unknown, they are hypothesized to play a role in mediating viral replication by downregulating cellular mRNAs encoding antiviral factors. Here, we report the cloning and analysis of microRNAs encoded by Rhesus Monkey Rhadinovirus (RRV), an animal virus model for the pathogenic human gamma-herpesvirus Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus (KSHV). RRV expresses several microRNAs that are encoded in the same genomic location as the previously reported KSHV microRNAs, yet these microRNAs are unrelated in primary sequence. These data set the stage for the mutational ablation and phenotypic analysis of RRV mutants lacking one or more viral microRNAs.

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