• Gaowei Ren

      Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • Transcription pattern of UL131A-128 mRNA in clinical strains of human cytomegalovirus

      Zhengrong Sun Gaowei Ren Yanping Ma Ning Wang Yaohua Ji Ying Qi Mali Li Rong He Qiang Ruan

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      Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) mRNA was obtained from human embryonic lung fibroblast cells infected by HCMV clinical strains from urine samples of infants at different kinetic periods. The cDNA of UL131A-128 mRNAs was amplified using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and analysed by sequencing. Mean while, clones containing UL131A-128 transcripts in an HCMV cDNA library of a clinical strain were selected and sequenced. It was demonstrated that UL131A-128 mRNA was expressed with immediately early, early and late kinetics. Sequences obtained by RT-PCR showed that the UL131A gene consisted of two exons and the coding region of the UL130 gene was not interrupted by any intron in the region as reported earlier. However, the transcript of the UL128 gene showed two patterns: one pattern consisted of three exons as reported earlier; the other contained the three exons and also the first intron. Moreover, the above characteristics of UL131A-128 spliced transcripts were confirmed by the sequences of clones selected from the HCMV cDNA library. Our results demonstrated that the UL131A, UL130 and UL128 genes were transcribed with the 3′-coterminal, although the initiation points of their mRNA may be different. The variation in the transcripts found in our study indicated the complex nature of transcription of UL131A-128 genes in clinical strains of HCMV.

    • Host protein Snapin interacts with human cytomegalovirus pUL130 and affects viral DNA replication

      Guili Wang Gaowei Ren Xin Cui Yanpin Ma Ying Qi Yujing Huang Zhongyang Liu Zhengrong Sun Qiang Ruan

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      The interplay between the host and Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) plays a pivotal role in the outcome of an infection. HCMV growth in endothelial and epithelial cells requires expression of viral proteins UL128, UL130, and UL131 proteins (UL128-131), of which UL130 is the largest gene and the only one that is not interrupted by introns. Mutation of the C terminus of the UL130 protein causes reduced tropism of endothelial cells (EC). However, very few host factors have been identified that interact with the UL130 protein. In this study, HCMV UL130 protein was shown to directly interact with the human protein Snapin in human embryonic kidney HEK293 cells by Yeast two-hybrid screening, in vitro glutathione S-transferase (GST) pull-down, and co-immunoprecipitation. Additionally, heterologous expression of protein UL130 revealed co-localization with Snapin in the cell membrane and cytoplasm of HEK293 cells using fluorescence confocal microscopy. Furthermore, decreasing the level of Snapin via specific small interfering RNAs decreased the number of viral DNA copies and titer in HCMV-infected U373-S cells. Taken together, these results suggest that Snapin, the pUL130 interacting protein, has a role in modulating HCMV DNA synthesis.

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