Caister Academic Press

The Modification of Cellular RNA Polymerase II During HSV-1 Infection

Stephen A. Rice and Kathryn A. Fraser
from: Alpha Herpesviruses: Molecular and Cellular Biology (Edited by: R. M. Sandri-Goldin). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2006)


Like other nuclear-replicating DNA viruses, herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) utilizes the host cell RNA polymerase II (Pol II) to transcribe its genome during its productive infection. Moreover, HSV-1 has evolved mechanisms that allow it to effectively compete with the host cell for the use of Pol II. This review will focus on the ability of HSV-1 to alter the Pol II enzyme itself. Specifically, HSV-1 alters the localization of Pol II, recruiting it into virus-induced replication compartments, where viral DNA replication and transcription take place. In addition, infection alters the normal phosphorylation of the Pol II carboxyl-terminal domain (CTD), creating a novel form of the enzyme known as Pol III. Current evidence suggests that the HSV-1-induced changes to the CTD involve two separate pathways, both of which require viral immediate-early proteins. The biological ramifications of these viral changes to Pol II are discussed read more ...
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