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J Virol. 2003 Jun;77(11):6493-506.

Cellular gene expression survey of vaccinia virus infection of human HeLa cells.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Centro Nacional de Biotecnología, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Campus Universidad Autónoma, 28049 Madrid, Spain.


Vaccinia virus (VV) is a cytocidal virus that causes major changes in host cell machinery shortly after infecting cells. To define the consequences of virus infection on host gene expression, we used microarrays of approximately 15,000 human cDNAs to examine expression levels of mRNAs isolated at 2, 6, and 16 h postinfection from cultures of infected HeLa cells. The majority of profiling changes during VV infection corresponded to downregulation of genes at 16 h postinfection. Differentially expressed genes were clustered into seven groups to identify common regulatory pathways, with most of them (90%) belonging to clusters 6 and 7, which represent genes whose expression was repressed after infection. Cluster 1, however, contained 37 transcripts (2.81%) showing a robust pattern of induction that was maintained during the course of infection. Genes in cluster 1 included those for Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP) family member WASF1, thymosine, adenosine A2a receptor, glutamate decarboxylase 2, CD-80 antigen, KIAA0888 protein, selenophosphate synthetase, pericentrin, and attractin as well as several expressed sequence tags. We analyzed in more detail the fate of WASP protein in VV-infected cells, because a related family member, N-WASP, is involved in viral motility. WASP protein accumulated in the course of infection; its increase required viral DNA replication and de novo protein synthesis, and it localized in cytoplasmic structures distinct from uninfected cells. This study is the first quantitative analysis of host gene expression following VV infection of cultured human cells, demonstrating global changes in the expression profile, and identifies upregulated genes with potential roles in the virus replication cycle.

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