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Front Biosci. 2008 May 1;13:5241-56.

The many roles of the regulatory protein ICP27 during herpes simplex virus infection.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, School of Medicine, University of California at Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697-4025 USA.


Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) protein ICP27 is a multifunctional regulator of gene expression that assumes different roles during the course of infection. Early in infection, ICP27 mediates the inhibition of cellular splicing, whereas, later it helps to recruit cellular RNA polymerase II (RNAP II) to viral replication sites and to facilitate viral RNA export. ICP27 has also been shown to stimulate translation of viral transcripts. ICP27 performs its activities by interacting with RNA and with an assortment of proteins. ICP27 binds viral RNAs in its role as an export adaptor. An ever increasing number of cellular proteins have been shown to interact with ICP27, including splicing factors, export proteins and RNAP II. A number of protein motifs within ICP27 have been predicted based upon sequence comparisons; however, detailed structural information is not yet available. Although much has been learned about the mechanisms by which ICP27 performs its roles, relatively little is known about how its activities are regulated. The roles and activities of ICP27 are the subject of this review.

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