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J Virol. 2000 Mar;74(6):2913-9.

Herpes simplex virus ICP27 induces cytoplasmic accumulation of unspliced polyadenylated alpha-globin pre-mRNA in infected HeLa cells.

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Departments of Biology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario L8N 3Z5.


Transcripts of most intron-bearing cellular genes must be processed by the splicing machinery in order to efficiently accumulate and gain access to the cytoplasm. However, we found that herpes simplex virus induces cytoplasmic accumulation of both spliced and unspliced polyadenylated alpha-globin RNAs in infected HeLa cells. Accumulation of the unspliced RNA required the immediate-early protein ICP27, and ICP27 was sufficient (in combination with ICP4) to produce this effect in a transient-transfection assay. However, expression of ICP27 did not markedly alter the levels of fully spliced alpha-globin transcripts in infected cells. These data demonstrate that the previously documented effects of ICP27 on the cellular splicing apparatus do not greatly inhibit splicing of alpha-globin RNA and argue that ICP27 induces a splicing-independent pathway for alpha-globin RNA accumulation and nuclear export.

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