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Virology. 1983 Jan 30;124(2):390-402.

Post-transcriptional control of human cytomegalovirus gene expression.


During the immediate-early, early, and late phases of human cytomegalovirus infection in human fibroblasts, transcripts accumulated, respectively, from approximately 20, 75, and 90% of the sequences on the genome. Not all of the sequences which accumulated during the immediate-early and early phases were represented on polysomes, however. Four transcripts synthesized in cycloheximide-treated cells were studied in detail. A 2.2-kb transcript (0.713-0.733 map units) represented 95% of the polysome-associated RNA in cycloheximide-treated cells and was the first to be detected on polysomes at 2 hr postinfection in untreated cells. A second, less abundant, transcript of 5.2 kb (0.670-0.733 map units) was also found on polysomes in cycloheximide-treated cells, and preliminary evidence suggested that this transcript may be spliced during processing. A 3.25-kb transcript (0.190-0.217 map units) was identified also as a minor polysome-associated species of RNA. One transcript of 4.8 kb (0.630-0.670) remained associated with the nucleus and was not processed into mRNA in cycloheximide-treated cells. Differential stability between the various transcripts was observed, the 2.2-kb transcript being the most stable. The results showed that in human cytomegalovirus-infected cells controls exist at the level of transcript accumulation, transport into the cytoplasm, preferential association with polysomes, and relative stability of RNAs.

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