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J Virol. 2010 May;84(10):5148-57. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00110-10. Epub 2010 Mar 10.

Comprehensive analysis of Rhesus lymphocryptovirus microRNA expression.

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Department of Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06536, USA.


Rhesus lymphocryptovirus (rLCV) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) are closely related gammaherpesviruses that infect and cause disease in rhesus monkeys and humans, respectively. Thus, rLCV is an important model system for EBV pathogenesis. Both rLCV and EBV express microRNAs (miRNAs), several conserved in sequence and genomic location. We have applied deep sequencing technology to obtain an inventory of rLCV miRNA expression in latently rLCV-infected monkey B cells. Our data confirm the presence of all previously identified mature rLCV miRNAs and have resulted in the discovery of 21 new mature miRNAs arising from previously identified precursor miRNAs (pre-miRNAs), as well as two novel pre-miRNAs (rL1-34 and rL1-35) that together generate four new mature miRNAs. Thus, the total number of rLCV-encoded pre-miRNAs is 35 and the total number of rLCV mature miRNAs is 68, the most of any virus examined. The exact 5' and 3' ends of all mature rLCV miRNAs were pinpointed, many showing marked sequence and length heterogeneity that could modulate function. We further demonstrate that rLCV mature miRNAs associate with Argonaute proteins in rLCV-infected B cells.

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