• Zhongyang Liu

      Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • 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.

    • Human cytomegalovirus-encoded miR-US4-1 promotes cell apoptosis and benefits discharge of infectious virus particles via down-regulation of glutaminyl-tRNA synthetase, QARS in HCMV-infected HELF cells

      Yaozhong Shao Ying Qi Yujing Huang Zhongyang Liu Yanping Ma Xin Guo Shujuan Jiang Zhengrong Sun Qiang Ruan

      More Details Abstract Fulltext PDF

      Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) can cause congenital diseases and opportunistic infections in immunocompromised individuals. Its functional proteins and microRNAs (miRNAs) facilitate efficient viral propagation by altering host cell behaviour. Identification of functional target genes of miRNAs is an important step in studies on HCMV pathogenesis. In this study, Glutaminyl-tRNA Synthetase (QARS), which could regulate signal transduction pathways for cellular apoptosis, was identified as a direct target of hcmv-miR-US4-1. Apoptosis assay revealed that as silence of QARS by ectopic expression of hcmv-miR-US4-1 and specific small interference RNA of QARS can promote cell apoptosis in HCMV-infected HELF cells. Moreover, viral growth curve assays showed that hcmv-miR-US4-1 benefits the discharge of infectious virus particles. However, silence of hcmv-miR-US4-1 by its specific inhibitor overturned these effects. These results imply that hcmv-miR-US4-1 might have the same effects during HCMV nature infection. In general, hcmv-miR-US4-1 may involve in promoting cell apoptosis and benefiting discharge of infectious virus particles via down-regulation of QARS in HCMV-infected HELF cells.

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