MicroRNAs (miRNAs) encoded by latency-associated transcript are associated with both latent and acute stages of herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) infection. In this study, miRNA-H4-5p and miRNA-H4-3p were ectopically expressed in HeLa cells to explore potential cellular targets of viral miRNAs and demonstrate their potential biological functions. The results showed that miRNA-H4-5p could reverse apoptosis induced by actinomycin D (Act-D) and promote cell cycle progression, but miRNA-H4-3p had no such obvious functions. Bioinformatics analysis, luciferase report assay, quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), and Western blotting demonstrated that miRNA-H4-5p could bind to the 3′-untranslated region (UTR) of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2A (CDKN2A) and cyclin-dependent kinase-like 2 (CDKL2) to negatively regulate their expression. We verified that these two targeted genes were associated with cell apoptosis and cell cycle. Furthermore, in HeLa cells infected with HSV-2, we detected significantly reduced expression of CDKN2A and CDKL2 and demonstrated the negative regulation effect of miRNA-H4-5p on these two target genes. Our findings show that viral miRNAs play a vital role in regulating the expression of the host’s cellular genes that participate in cell apoptosis and progression to reshape the cellular environment in response to HSV-2 infection, providing further information on the roles of encoded herpesvirus miRNAs in pathogen–host interaction.
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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81371749) and (81171511).
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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
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Zhao, Y., Yang, J., Liu, Y. et al. HSV-2-encoded miRNA-H4 Regulates Cell Cycle Progression and Act-D-induced Apoptosis in HeLa Cells by Targeting CDKL2 and CDKN2A. Virol. Sin. 34, 278–286 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12250-019-00101-8
- Herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2)
- MicroRNAs (miRNAs)
- Cell cycle progression
- Pathogen–host interaction