Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) protein ICP27 has an essential regulatory role during viral replication, in part by post-transcriptional control of gene expression, and has a counterpart in all herpes viruses sequenced so far. Although much is known about the functions of this signature herpesvirus protein, little is known about its RNA binding capabilities; ICP27 interacts with specificity for a subset of intronless HSV-1 RNAs and poly(G), through its RGG box. We performed an in vivo yeast three-hybrid screen of an HSV-1 genomic library, searching for ICP27 interacting RNAs. Comparable with a yeast genomic screen, 24 of 55 single inserts mapped to antisense strands of HSV-1 transcribed regions or non-transcribed regions. The 31 HSV-1 sense RNAs identified were 35 to 225 nucleotides in length and interacted with preferred specificity for ICP27 as compared with an unrelated RNA-binding protein. They map to 10 monocistronic and 10 polycistronic transcripts of all kinetic classes and represent 28 open reading frames encoding predominantly essential viral proteins with roles in viral DNA replication and virion maturation. Several studies show regulatory effects by ICP27 on the majority of these transcripts, consistent with its regulation of the early-late switch in the HSV-1 life cycle. Deletion of the ICP27 RGG box and the ICP27 M15 mutation, both lethal in virus, abolished or severely reduced the ICP27-RNA interactions, indicating their biological relevance. The study facilitates continued study of gene regulation by ICP27 by further defining its interactions with viral RNAs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology