Enhancer requirement for murine cytomegalovirus growth and genetic complementation by the human cytomegalovirus enhancer

A Angulo, M Messerle, U H Koszinowski, P Ghazal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The cytomegalovirus (CMV) enhancer is a highly complex regulatory region containing multiple elements that interact with a variety of host-encoded transcription factors. Many of these sequence elements are conserved among the different species strains of CMV, although the arrangement of the various elements and overall sequence composition of the CMV enhancers differ remarkably. To delineate the importance of this region to a productive infection and to explore the possibility of generating a murine CMV (MCMV) under the control of human CMV (HCMV) genetic elements, the MCMV enhancer was resected and replaced either with nonregulatory sequences or with paralogous sequences from HCMV. The effects of these various deletions and substitutions on viral growth in transfected or infected tissue-culture cells were evaluated. We found that mutations in MCMV that eliminate or substitute for the enhancer with nonregulatory sequences showed a severe deficiency in virus synthesis. This growth defect is effectively complemented by the homologous MCMV enhancer as well as the HCMV enhancer. In the latter case, the chimeric viruses (hybrid MCMV strains) containing the molecularly shuffled human enhancer exhibit infectious kinetics similar to that of parental wild-type and wild-type revertant MCMV. These results also show that open reading frames m124, m124.1, and m125 located within the enhancer region are nonessential for growth of MCMV in cells. Most importantly, we conclude that the enhancer of MCMV is required for optimal infection and that its diverged human counterpart can advantageously replace its role in promoting viral infectivity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8502-9
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1998

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • 3T3 Cells
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chimera
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • DNA, Viral
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Genome, Viral
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Muromegalovirus
  • Mutation
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Species Specificity
  • Transfection
  • Virulence


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