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J Virol. 2004 Jun;78(12):6282-6.

Induction of suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 by herpes simplex virus type 1 contributes to inhibition of the interferon signaling pathway.

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Department of Microbiology, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine, South-1, West-17, Chuo-ku, Sapporo 060-8556, Hokkaido, Japan.


We showed previously that herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) suppresses the interferon (IFN) signaling pathway during the early infection stage in the human amnion cell line FL. HSV-1 inhibits the IFN-induced phosphorylation of Janus kinases (JAK) in infected FL cells. In the present study, we showed that the suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 (SOCS3), a host negative regulator of the JAK/STAT pathway, is rapidly induced in FL cells after HSV-1 infection. Maximal levels of SOCS3 protein were detected at around 1 to 2 h after infection. This is consistent with the occurrence of HSV-1-mediated inhibition of IFN-induced JAK phosphorylation. The HSV-1 wild-type strain VR3 induced SOCS3 more efficiently than did mutants that are defective in UL41 or UL13 and that are hyperresponsive to IFN. Induction of the IRF-7 protein and transcriptional activation of IFN-alpha4, which occur in a JAK/STAT pathway-dependent manner, were poorly induced by VR3 but efficiently induced by the mutant viruses. In contrast, phosphorylation of IRF-3 and transcriptional activation of IFN-beta, which are JAK/STAT pathway-independent process, were equally well induced by the wild-type strain and the mutants. In conclusion, the SOCS3 protein appears to be mainly responsible for the suppression of IFN signaling and IFN production that occurs during HSV-1 infection.

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