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J Infect Dis. 2000 Oct;182(4):1022-8. Epub 2000 Aug 31.

Cytokeratin 17 is expressed in cells infected with respiratory syncytial virus via NF-kappaB activation and is associated with the formation of cytopathic syncytia.

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Department of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Disease, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA.


We used differential display to detect enhanced expression of an mRNA fragment encoding cytokeratin 17 (Ck-17) in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)-infected epithelial cells. Expression increased 12-fold by 96 h after infection but remained unchanged in cells challenged with virus in the presence of neutralizing anti-RSV fusion protein antibody. Immunoblots of RSV-infected cell lysates probed with an anti-keratin antibody demonstrated stable expression of total cytokeratins over time. When probed with an anti-Ck-17 monoclonal antibody, Ck-17 was first detected at 4 days after infection. In situ staining demonstrated that Ck-17 expression localized to regions of syncytia formation. Expression of Ck-17 mRNA also increased in response to intracellular RSV-F protein in the absence of active RSV infection. No increase in Ck-17 mRNA expression and no syncytia were observed in RSV-infected cells grown in the presence of the NF-kappaB inhibitor gliotoxin. These results suggest that RSV-induced transcriptional activation of the Ck-17 gene is dependent on an NF-kappaB-associated signaling pathway.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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