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Ophthalmic Res. 2015;53(2):55-64. doi: 10.1159/000366228. Epub 2014 Dec 19.

Activation of checkpoint kinase 2 is critical for herpes simplex virus type 1 replication in corneal epithelium.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pa., USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIMS:

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) type I keratitis remains a leading cause of corneal morbidity, despite the availability of effective antiviral drugs. Improved understanding of virus-host interactions at the level of the host DNA damage response (DDR), a known factor in the development of HSV-1 keratitis, may shed light on potential new therapeutic targets. This report examines the role of checkpoint kinase 2 (Chk2), a DDR mediator protein, in corneal epithelial HSV-1 infection.

METHODS:

A small-molecule inhibitor of Chk2 (Chk2 inhibitor II) was applied to HSV-1-infected cultured human corneal epithelial cells (hTCEpi and HCE) as well as to explanted and organotypically cultured human and rabbit corneas. Infection levels were assessed by plaque assay and real-time PCR. RNAi-mediated depletion of Chk2 was performed to confirm the effect of the inhibitor.

RESULTS:

Inhibition of the Chk2 kinase activity greatly suppresses the cytopathic effect, genome replication and infectious progeny production in vitro and ex vivo.

CONCLUSION:

This report demonstrates the critical role of Chk2 kinase in the establishment of HSV-1 corneal epithelial infection. These data contribute to our understanding of herpesvirus-host interactions and underscore the significance of DDR activation in HSV-1 keratitis.

PMID:
25531207
PMCID:
PMC4380435
DOI:
10.1159/000366228
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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