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J Virol. 2013 Oct;87(19):10412-22. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00425-13. Epub 2013 Jul 17.

Virion factors that target Daxx to overcome intrinsic immunity.

Author information

  • 1Heinrich Pette Institute, Leibniz Institute for Experimental Virology, Hamburg, Germany.

Erratum in

  • J Virol. 2013 Dec;87(23):13085.


PML nuclear bodies and their associated functions are part of an intrinsic cellular mechanism aimed at maintaining transcriptional control over viral gene expression and preventing replication of invading viruses. To overcome these barriers, many viruses express early nonstructural, multifunctional proteins to support the viral replication cycle or modulate host immune responses. Virion proteins constituting the invading particle are traditionally investigated for their role in transport during entry or egress and in the assembly of new virions. The additional functions of virion proteins have largely been ignored, in contrast to those of their nonstructural counterparts. A number of recent reports suggest that several virion proteins may also play vital roles in gene activation processes, in particular by counteracting intrinsic immune mechanisms mediated by the PML nuclear body-associated cellular factors Daxx, ATRX, and Sp100. These virion proteins share several features with their more potent nonstructural counterparts, and they may serve to bridge the gap in the early phase of an infection until immediate early viral gene expression is established. In this review, we discuss how virion proteins are an integral part of gene regulation among several viral families and to what extent structural proteins of incoming virions may contribute to species barrier, latency, and oncogenesis.

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