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Effect of vesicular stomatitis virus matrix protein on transcription directed by host RNA polymerases I, II, and III.

Ahmed M., Lyles D.S.

The matrix (M) protein of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) functions in virus assembly and inhibits host-directed gene expression independently of other viral components. Experiments in this study were carried out to determine the ability of M protein to inhibit transcription directed by each of the three host RNA polymerases (RNA polymerase I [RNAPI], RNAPII, and RNAPIII). The effects of wild-type (wt) VSV, v6 (a VSV mutant isolated from persistently infected cells), and tsO82 viruses on poly(A)+ and poly(A)-RNA synthesis were measured by incorporation of [3H]uridine. v6 and tsO82 viruses, which contain M-gene mutations, had a decreased ability to inhibit synthesis of both poly(A)+ and poly(A)-RNA. Nuclear runoff analysis showed that VSV inhibited transcription of 18S rRNA and alpha-tubulin genes, which was dependent on RNAPI and RNAPII, respectively, but infection with wt virus enhanced transcription of 5S rRNA by RNAPIII. The effect of M protein alone on transcription by RNAPI-, RNAPII-, and RNAPIII-dependent promoters was measured by cotransfection assays. M protein inhibited transcription from RNAPI- and RNAPII-dependent promoters in the absence of other viral gene products. RNAPIII-dependent transcription of the adenovirus VA promoters was also inhibited by M protein. However, as observed during wt VSV infection, M protein enhanced endogenous 5S rRNA transcription, indicating that the inhibition of transcription by RNAPIII was dependent on the nature of the promoter.

J. Virol. 72:8413-8419(1998) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]