Inhibition of the stress-activated kinase, p38, does not affect the virus transcriptional program of herpes simplex virus type 1

Gamze Karaca, Danna Hargett, Tim I McLean, J S Aguilar, P Ghazal, Edward K Wagner, Steven L Bachenheimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To investigate the impact of stress kinase p38 activation on HSV-1 transcription, we performed a global transcript profile analysis of viral mRNA using an oligonucleotide-based DNA microarray. RNA was isolated from Vero cells infected with the KOS strain of HSV-1 in the presence or absence of SB203580, a pyridinyl imidazole inhibitor of p38. Under conditions that eliminated ATF2 activation but had no effect on c-Jun, and reduced virus yield by 85-90%, no effect on accumulation of viral IE, DE, or L transcripts was observed by array analysis or selected Northern blot analysis at 2, 4, and 6 h post infection. Results of array data from cells infected with the ICP27 mutant d27-1 in the presence or absence of SB203580 only reflected the known restricted transcription phenotype of the ICP27 mutant. This result is consistent with a role for p38 activation on virus replication lying downstream of the essential role of ICP27 in DE and perhaps late transcription regulation. No effect of SB203580 on transcription was detected after infection with the ICP0 mutant 7134, at 0.5 or 5.0 PFU/cell, though decreases in the rate of accumulation of all kinetic classes of mRNA could be detected, relative to wt virus. These results indicate that inhibiting p38 activity in Vero cells, while significantly reducing wt virus yield, demonstrated no obvious impact on the program of viral transcription.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-56
Number of pages15
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • Animals
  • Cercopithecus aethiops
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Viral
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human
  • Imidazoles
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Pyridines
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Viral
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Vero Cells
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases

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