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Science 328 (5985): 1563-1566

Copyright © 2010 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Down-Regulation of a Host MicroRNA by a Herpesvirus saimiri Noncoding RNA

Demián Cazalla, Therese Yario, Joan A. Steitz*

Abstract: T cells transformed by Herpesvirus saimiri express seven viral U-rich noncoding RNAs of unknown function called HSURs. We noted that conserved sequences in HSURs 1 and 2 constitute potential binding sites for three host-cell microRNAs (miRNAs). Coimmunoprecipitation experiments confirmed that HSURs 1 and 2 interact with the predicted miRNAs in virally transformed T cells. The abundance of one of these miRNAs, miR-27, is dramatically lowered in transformed cells, with consequent effects on the expression of miR-27 target genes. Transient knockdown and ectopic expression of HSUR 1 demonstrate that it directs degradation of mature miR-27 in a sequence-specific and binding-dependent manner. This viral strategy illustrates use of a ncRNA to manipulate host-cell gene expression via the miRNA pathway.

Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Yale University School of Medicine, Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine, 295 Congress Avenue, New Haven, CT 06536, USA.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: joan.steitz{at}yale.edu

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