Cyclin-dependent kinase activity is required at early times for accurate processing and accumulation of the human cytomegalovirus UL122-123 and UL37 immediate-early transcripts and at later times for virus production

Academic Article


  • Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection leads to dysregulation of multiple cell cycle-regulatory proteins. In this study, we examined the effects of inhibition of cyclin-dependent kinase (cdk) activity on viral replication. With the drug Roscovitine, a specific inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases 1,2, 5, 7, and 9, we have shown that during the first 6 h of infection, cyclin-dependent kinase-dependent events occurred that included the regulated processing and accumulation of the immediate-early (IE) UL122-123 transcripts and UL36-37 transcripts. Altered processing of UL122-123 led to a loss of IE1-72 and an increase in IE2-86. The ratio of spliced to unspliced UL37 transcripts also changed. These effects did not require de novo protein synthesis or degradation of proteins by the proteasome. Addition of Roscovitine at the beginning of the infection was also associated with inhibition of expression of selected viral early gene products, viral DNA replication, and late viral gene expression. When Roscovitine was added after the first 6 h of infection, the effects on IE gene expression were no longer observed and viral replication proceeded through the late phase, but viral titers were reduced. The reduction in viral titer was observed even when Roscovitine was first added at 48 h postinfection, indicating that cyclin-dependent kinase activity is required at both IE and late times. Flavopiridol, another specific inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases, had similar effects on IE and early gene expression. These results underscore the importance of accurate RNA processing and reiterate the significant role of cell cycle-regulatory factors in HCMV infection.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Sanchez V; McElroy AK; Yen J; Tamrakar S; Clark CL; Schwartz RA; Spector DH
  • Start Page

  • 11219
  • End Page

  • 11232
  • Volume

  • 78
  • Issue

  • 20