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J Gen Virol. 2007 Nov;88(Pt 11):2935-40.

Knockdown of hDaxx in normally non-permissive undifferentiated cells does not permit human cytomegalovirus immediate-early gene expression.

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Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 2QQ, UK.


The cellular protein human Daxx (hDaxx), a component of nuclear domain 10 structures, is known to mediate transcriptional repression of human cytomegalovirus immediate-early (IE) gene expression upon infection of permissive cell types, at least in part, by regulation of chromatin structure around the major IE promoter (MIEP). As it is now clear that differentiation-dependent regulation of the MIEP also plays a pivotal role in the control of latency and reactivation, we asked whether hDaxx-mediated repression is involved in differentiation-dependent MIEP regulation. We show that downregulation of hDaxx by using small interfering RNA technology in undifferentiated NT2D1 cells does not permit expression of viral IE genes, nor does it result in changes in chromatin structure around the MIEP. Viral IE gene expression is only observed upon cellular differentiation, suggesting little involvement of hDaxx in the regulation of the viral MIEP in undifferentiated cells.

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