Human cytomegalovirus latent infection alters the expression of cellular and viral microRNA

Miao Fu, Yan Gao, Qiuju Zhou, Qi Zhang, Ying Peng, Kegang Tian, Jinhua Wang, Xiaoqun Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Background: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play important roles in regulating gene expression of plants, animals and viruses. Comprehensive characterization of host and viral miRNA will help uncover the molecular mechanisms that underlie the progression of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) latent infection. To investigate the miRNA expression profile of HCMV and host cells during latent infection, we performed deep-sequencing analysis of the small RNAs isolated from HCMV-infected and mock-infected human monocytic leukemia cell line, THP-1. Results: We established a HCMV latent infection cell model using the THP-1 cells. High-throughput sequencing technology was used to sequence small RNA libraries of the HCMV-infected and mock-infected THP-1 and to investigate their small RNA transcriptomes. We found eight miRNAs including miR-US25-1, miR-US25-2-5p and miR-UL112 that were expressed by HCMV during latent infection. The expressions of the host miRNAs were also affected by HCMV latent infection. At least 49 cellular miRNAs were differentially expressed: 39 were up-regulated and 10 were down-regulated upon HCMV latent infection. The expression of the human miRNA hsa-miR-124-3p was significantly up-regulated in the HCMV latent infection library. In addition, we found 14 cellular novel miRNAs in the HCMV-infected and mock-infected THP-1 libraries. Functional annotation of the target genes of the differentially expressed miRNAs suggested that the majority of the genes are involved in melanogenesis, pathways in cancer, endocytosis and wnt signaling pathway. Conclusions: The small RNA transcriptomes obtained in this study demonstrate the usefulness of the deep-sequencing combined with bioinformatics approach in understanding of the expression and function of host and viral small RNAs in HCMV latent infection. This approach can also be applied to the study of other kinds of viruses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)272-278
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 25 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Jinyu Wu for technical assistance with in-depth data analysis and manuscript organization. This work was supported by the grants from the National Science Foundation of China (No. 81071365 ), Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China ( LY13H190006 ) and Key Science and Technology Innovation Team of Zhejiang Province ( 2012R10048-11 ).


  • Deep-sequencing
  • Differentially expression
  • Human cytomegalovirus
  • Latent infection
  • MiRNA


Dive into the research topics of 'Human cytomegalovirus latent infection alters the expression of cellular and viral microRNA'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this