Analysis of human alphaherpesvirus microRNA expression in latently infected human trigeminal ganglia.
Analysis of cells infected by a wide range of herpesviruses has identified numerous virally encoded microRNAs (miRNAs), and several reports suggest that these viral miRNAs are likely to play key roles in several aspects of the herpesvirus life cycle. Here we report the first analysis of human ganglia for the presence of virally encoded miRNAs. Deep sequencing of human trigeminal ganglia latently infected with two pathogenic alphaherpesviruses, herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and varicella-zoster virus (VZV), confirmed the expression of five HSV-1 miRNAs, miR-H2 through miR-H6, which had previously been observed in mice latently infected with HSV-1. In addition, two novel HSV-1 miRNAs, termed miR-H7 and miR-H8, were also identified. Like four of the previously reported HSV-1 miRNAs, miR-H7 and miR-H8 are encoded within the second exon of the HSV-1 latency-associated transcript. Although VZV genomic DNA was readily detectable in the three human trigeminal ganglia analyzed, we failed to detect any VZV miRNAs, suggesting that VZV, unlike other herpesviruses examined so far, may not express viral miRNAs in latently infected cells.
Umbach, JL; Nagel, MA; Cohrs, RJ; Gilden, DH; Cullen, BR
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