Analysis of the mRNA targetome of microRNAs expressed by Marek's disease virus.
UNLABELLED: Marek's disease virus 1 (MDV-1), an oncogenic α-herpesvirus that induces T-cell lymphomas in chickens, serves as model system to study transformation by lymphotropic herpesviruses. Like the oncogenic human γ-herpesviruses Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), MDV-1 encodes several viral microRNAs (miRNAs). One MDV-1 miRNA, miR-M4, shares the same "seed" targeting sequence with both a KSHV miRNA, miR-K11, and cellular miR-155. Importantly, miR-M4 plays a critical role in T-cell transformation by MDV-1, while miR-K11 and cellular miR-155 are thought to play key roles in B-cell transformation by KSHV and EBV, respectively. Here, we present an analysis of the mRNAs targeted by viral miRNAs expressed in the chicken T-cell line MSB1, which is naturally coinfected with MDV-1 and the related nonpathogenic virus MDV-2. Our analysis identified >1,000 endogenous mRNAs targeted by miRNAs encoded by each virus, many of which are targeted by both MDV-1 and MDV-2 miRNAs. We present a functional analysis of an MDV-1 gene, RLORF8, targeted by four MDV-1 miRNAs and a cellular gene, encoding interleukin-18 (IL-18) and targeted by both MDV-1 and MDV-2 miRNAs, and show that ectopic expression of either protein in a form resistant to miRNA inhibition results in inhibition of cell proliferation. Finally, we present a restricted list of 9 genes targeted by not only MDV-1 miR-M4 but also KSHV miR-K11 and human miR-155. Given the critical role played by miR-155 seed family members in lymphomagenesis in humans and chickens, these mRNA targets may contain genes whose inhibition plays a conserved role in herpesvirus transformation. IMPORTANCE: Herpesviruses cause lymphomas in both humans and chickens, and in both cases, evidence indicates that virally encoded miRNAs, or virally subverted cellular miRNAs, belonging to the miR-155 seed family, play a critical role in this process. However, because each miRNA regulates numerous cellular mRNAs species, it has been difficult to elucidate which miRNA targets are important. Given the evolutionary distance between chickens and humans and the observation that miR-155 is nevertheless highly conserved in both species, we reasoned that the identification of shared miR-155 targets might shed light on this process. Here, we present an analysis of the mRNAs targeted by miRNAs encoded by the oncogenic avian herpesvirus MDV-1 in transformed chicken T cells, including a short list of mRNAs that are also targeted by miR-155 seed family miRNAs in EBV- or KSHV-transformed human B cells, and present an initial functional analysis of some of these miRNA targets.
Parnas, O; Corcoran, DL; Cullen, BR
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