Send to

Choose Destination
J Virol. 2007 Jun;81(11):5737-48. Epub 2007 Mar 21.

Inhibition of transcription of the beta interferon gene by the human herpesvirus 6 immediate-early 1 protein.

Author information

Rheumatology and Immunology Research Center, Room T1-49, 2705 Laurier Blvd., Quebec, Quebec, Canada G1V 4G2.


Human herpesviruses (HHV) are stealth pathogens possessing several decoy or immune system evasion mechanisms favoring their persistence within the infected host. Of these viruses, HHV-6 is among the most successful human parasites, establishing lifelong infections in nearly 100% of individuals around the world. To better understand this host-pathogen relationship, we determined whether HHV-6 could interfere with the development of the innate antiviral response by affecting interferon (IFN) biosynthesis. Using inducible cell lines and transient transfection assays, we have identified the immediate-early 1 (IE1) protein as a potent inhibitor of IFN-beta gene expression. IE1 proteins from both HHV-6 variants were capable of suppressing IFN-beta gene induction. IE1 prevents IFN-beta gene expression triggered by Sendai virus infection, double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) and dsDNA transfection, or the ectopic expression of IFN-beta gene activators such as retinoic inducible gene I protein, mitochondrial antiviral signaling protein, TBK-1, IkappaB kinase epsilon (IKKepsilon), and IFN regulatory factor 3 (IRF3). While the stability of IFN-beta mRNA is not affected, IE1-expressing cells have reduced levels of dimerized IRF3 and nucleus-translocated IRF3 in response to activation by TBK-1 or IKKepsilon. Using nuclear extracts and gel shift experiments, we could demonstrate that in the presence of IE1, IRF3 does not bind efficiently to the IFN-beta promoter sequence. Overall, these results indicate that the IE1 protein of HHV-6, one of the first viral proteins synthesized upon viral entry, is a potent suppressor of IFN-beta gene induction and likely contributes to favor the establishment of and successful infection of cells with this virus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center