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Virology. 2017 Oct;510:205-215. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2017.07.023. Epub 2017 Jul 24.

Infected T98G glioblastoma cells support human cytomegalovirus reactivation from latency.

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State Key Laboratory of Virology, Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430071, China.
The 3rd Xiangya Hospital, Central-South University, Changsha 410013, China.
Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ 07101-1709, USA.
Department of Medical Genetics, Oslo University Hospital, University of Oslo, Oslo 0316, Norway.
Department of Microbiology, Howard University College of Medicine, Howard University, Washington, DC 20059, USA.
Department of Biological Sciences and Center for Reproductive Biology, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844-3051, USA. Electronic address:
State Key Laboratory of Virology, Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430071, China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China. Electronic address:


T98G cells have been shown to support long-term human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) genome maintenance without infectious virus release. However, it remains unclear whether these viral genomes could be reactivated. To address this question, a recombinant HCMV (rHCMV) containing a GFP gene was used to infect T98G cells, and the infected cells absent of infectious virus production were designated T98G-LrV. Upon dibutyryl cAMP plus IBMX (cAMP/IBMX) treatment, a serial of phenomena were observed, including GFP signal increase, viral genome replication, lytic genes expression and infectious viruses release, indicating the reactivation of HCMV in T98G-LrV cells from a latent status. Mechanistically, HCMV reactivation in the T98G-LrV cells induced by cAMP/IBMX was associated with the PKA-CREB signaling pathway. These results demonstrate that HCMV was latent in T98G-LrV cells and could be reactivated. The T98G-LrV cells represent an effective model for investigating the mechanisms of HCMV reactivation from latency in the context of neural cells.


Human cytomegalovirus; Latent cell model of brain origin; Latent infection; Reactivation; T98G cells

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