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Virology. 2001 Jul 20;286(1):119-24.

Herpes simplex virus type 1 suppresses the interferon signaling pathway by inhibiting phosphorylation of STATs and janus kinases during an early infection stage.

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Department of Microbiology, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, 060-8556, Japan.


We examined the influence on the interferon (IFN) signaling pathway of infection with herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) strain VR3. Data from reporter gene assays showed that expression of both type I and type II IFN-inducible genes was dramatically suppressed during the early stage of HSV-1 infection (2 to 3 h postinfection). During these periods, phosphorylation levels of janus kinases (JAKs) and STATs did not increase after treatment of HSV-1-infected FL cells with IFN-alpha or IFN-gamma, although cellular protein levels of the JAKs and the STATs were not significantly changed. In contrast, the inhibitory effect of HSV-1 on phosphorylation of STAT1 was not observed in U937 cells, which show resistance to steady-state accumulation of RNA for HSV-1 immediate-early genes. The phosphorylation of STAT1 in FL cells was not inhibited by infection with a UV-inactivated virus. These results indicate that viral gene expression or viral protein production is necessary for the inhibition of phosphorylation by HSV-1.

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