CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP) α, a member of the C/EBP family of transcription factors, is known to be involved in gene expression and DNA replication of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV). This study aimed to understand the regulation of endogenous C/EBPα during HCMV infection using an in vitro infection model. The expression and localization of C/EBPα were investigated in fibroblasts infected with HCMV. The overexpression of C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP), the endogenous inhibitor of C/EBP, was also employed to test the involvement of C/EBPα during HCMV infection. Our data showed that HCMV infection increases the expression of the full-length C/EBPα isoform (p42) especially during the late stage of infection at the transcriptional and post-translational levels. The increased p42 accumulated in the viral DNA replication compartment. p42 expression was not induced in cells treated with UV-irradiated virus or in cells infected with normal virus in the presence of ganciclovir. CHOP-mediated inhibition of C/EBP activity suppressed viral gene expression and DNA replication, which lowered the level of viral production. Together, our data suggest that HCMV-mediated C/EBPα regulation might play a beneficial role in the lytic cycle of HCMV.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: May 1, 2016
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