Herpes simplex virus immediate-early protein ICP22 is required for viral modification of host RNA polymerase II and establishment of the normal viral transcription program

S. A. Rice, M. C. Long, V. Lam, P. A. Schaffer, C. A. Spencer

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127 Scopus citations

Abstract

Infection of cells with herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) results in a rapid alteration of phosphorylation on the large subunit of cellular RNA polymerase II (RNAP II), most likely on its C-terminal domain (S. A. Rice, M. C. Long, V. Lam, and C. A. Spencer, J. Virol. 68:988-1001, 1994). This phosphorylation modification generates a novel form of the large subunit which we have designated IIi. In this study, we examine the roles that HSV-1 gene products play in this process. An HSV-1 mutant defective in the immediate-early transcriptional activator protein ICP4 is able to efficiently induce IIi. Viruses having mutations in the genes for the ICP0, ICP6, or ICP27 proteins are also competent for III formation. In contrast, 22/n199, an HSV-1 mutant which contains a nonsense mutation in the gene encoding the immediate-early protein ICP22, is significantly deficient in IIi induction. This effect is seen in Vero cells, where 22/n199 grows relatively efficiently, and in human embryonic lung (HEL) cells, where 22/n199 growth is more restricted. RNAP II is recruited into viral replication compartments in 22/n 199-infected cells, indicating that altered phosphorylation of RNAP II is not a prerequisite for nuclear relocalization of RNAP II. In addition, we show by nuclear run-on transcription analysis that vital gene transcription is deficient in HEL cells infected with 22/n199. Vital late gene transcription dries not occur efficiently, and antisense transcription throughout the genome is diminished compared with that of the wild-type HSV- 1 infection. These transcriptional effects cannot be explained by differences in viral DNA replication, since 22/n199 replicates its DNA efficiently in HEL cells. Our results demonstrate that ICP22 is necessary for virus-induced aberrant phosphorylation of RNAP II and for normal patterns of vital gene transcription in certain cell lines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5550-5559
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of virology
Volume69
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1995

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