Homodimerization of Marek's disease virus-encoded meq protein is not sufficient for transformation of lymphocytes in chickens

Paulette F. Suchodolski, Yoshihiro Izumiya, Blanca Lupiani, Dharani K. Ajithdoss, Oren Gilad, Lucy F. Lee, Hsing Jien Kung, Sanjay M. Reddy

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21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Marek's disease virus (MDV), the etiologic agent of Marek's disease, is a potent oncogenic herpesvirus. MDV is highly contagious and elicits a rapid onset of malignant T-cell lymphomas in chickens within several weeks after infection. MDV genome codes an oncoprotein, Meq, which shares resemblance with the Jun/Fos family of bZIP transcription factors. Similar to Jun, the leucine zipper region of Meq allows the formation of homoand heterodimers. Meq homo- and heterodimers have different DNA binding affinities and transcriptional activity; therefore, they may differentially regulate transcription of viral and cellular genes. In this study we investigated the role of Meq homodimers in the pathogenicity of MDV by generating a chimeric meq gene, which contains the leucine zipper region of the yeast transcription factor GCN4 (meqGCN). A recombinant virus (rMd5-MeqGCN) containing the chimeric meqGCN gene in place of parental meq was generated with overlapping cosmid clones of Md5, a very virulent MDV strain. The rMd5-MeqGCN virus replicated in vitro and in vivo but was unable to transform T cells in infected chickens. These data provide the first in vivo evidence that Meq homodimers are not sufficient for MDV-induced transformation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)859-869
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Virology
Volume83
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Medicine(all)
  • Virology

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    Suchodolski, P. F., Izumiya, Y., Lupiani, B., Ajithdoss, D. K., Gilad, O., Lee, L. F., Kung, H. J., & Reddy, S. M. (2009). Homodimerization of Marek's disease virus-encoded meq protein is not sufficient for transformation of lymphocytes in chickens. Journal of Virology, 83(2), 859-869. https://doi.org/10.1128/JVI.01630-08