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Science. 2010 Jun 18;328(5985):1563-6. doi: 10.1126/science.1187197.

Down-regulation of a host microRNA by a Herpesvirus saimiri noncoding RNA.

Author information

Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Yale University School of Medicine, Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine, 295 Congress Avenue, New Haven, CT 06536, USA.

Erratum in

  • Science. 2010 Sep 17;329(5998):1467. Steitz, Joan [corrected to Steitz, Joan A].


T cells transformed by Herpesvirus saimiri express seven viral U-rich noncoding RNAs of unknown function called HSURs. We noted that conserved sequences in HSURs 1 and 2 constitute potential binding sites for three host-cell microRNAs (miRNAs). Coimmunoprecipitation experiments confirmed that HSURs 1 and 2 interact with the predicted miRNAs in virally transformed T cells. The abundance of one of these miRNAs, miR-27, is dramatically lowered in transformed cells, with consequent effects on the expression of miR-27 target genes. Transient knockdown and ectopic expression of HSUR 1 demonstrate that it directs degradation of mature miR-27 in a sequence-specific and binding-dependent manner. This viral strategy illustrates use of a ncRNA to manipulate host-cell gene expression via the miRNA pathway.

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