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Restriction of human herpesvirus 6B replication by p53.

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  • Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology
  • Molekylær Diagnostisk Laboratorium
Human herpesvirus 6B (HHV-6B) induces significant accumulation of p53 in both the nucleus and cytoplasm during infection. Activation of p53 by DNA damage is known to induce either growth arrest or apoptosis; nevertheless, HHV-6B-infected cells are arrested in their cell cycle independently of p53, and only a minor fraction of the infected cells undergoes apoptosis. Using pifithrin-alpha, a p53 inhibitor, and p53-null cells, this study showed that infected epithelial cells accumulated viral transcripts and proteins to a significantly higher degree in the absence of active p53. Moreover, HHV-6B-induced cytopathic effects were greatly enhanced in the absence of p53. This suggests that, in epithelial cells, some of the functions of p53 leading to cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis are restrained by HHV-6B infection, whereas other cellular defences, causing inhibition of virus transcription, are partially retained.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of General Virology
Pages (from-to)1106-13
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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