Herpes simplex virus latency-associated transcript sequence downstream of the promoter influences type-specific reactivation and viral neurotropism
JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY
Authors: Bertke, Andrea S.; Patel, Amita; Krause, Philip R.
Herpes simplex virus (HSV) establishes latency in sensory nerve ganglia during acute infection and may later periodically reactivate to cause recurrent disease. HSV type 1 (HSV-1) reactivates more efficiently than HSV-2 from trigeminal ganglia while HSV-2 reactivates more efficiently than HSV-1 from lumbosacral dorsal root ganglia (DRG) to cause recurrent orofacial and genital herpes, respectively. In a previous study, a chimeric HSV-2 that expressed the latency-associated transcript (LAT) from HSV-1 reactivated similarly to wild-type HSV-1, suggesting that the LAT influences the type-specific reactivation phenotype of HSV-2. To further define the LAT region essential for type-specific reactivation, we constructed additional chimeric HSV-2 viruses by replacing the HSV-2 LAT promoter (HSV2-LAT-P1) or 2.5 kb of the HSV-2 LAT sequence (HSV2-LAT-S1) with the corresponding regions from HSV-1. HSV2-LAT-S1 was impaired for reactivation in the guinea pig genital model, while its rescuant and HSV2-LAT-P1 reactivated with a wild-type HSV-2 phenotype. Moreover, recurrences of HSV-2-LAT-S1 were frequently fatal, in contrast to the relatively mild recurrences of the other viruses. During recurrences, HSV2-LAT-S1 DNA increased more in the sacral cord compared to its rescuant or HSV-2. Thus, the LAT sequence region, not the LAT promoter region, provides essential elements for type-specific reactivation of HSV-2 and also plays a role in viral neurotropism. HSV-1 DNA, as quantified by real-time PCR, was more abundant in the lumbar spinal cord, while HSV-2 DNA was more abundant in the sacral spinal cord, which may provide insights into the mechanism for type-specific reactivation and different patterns of central nervous system infection of HSV-1 and HSV-2.
Are exposure to cytomegalovirus and genetic variation on chromosome 6p joint risk factors for schizophrenia?
ANNALS OF MEDICINE
Authors: Kim, Jung Jin; Shirts, Brian H.; Dayal, Madhulika; Bacanu, Silviu-Alin; Wood, Joel; Xie, Weiting; Zhang, Xiaohua; Chowdari, Kodavali V.; Yolken, Robert; Devlin, Bernie; Nimgaonkar, Vishwajit L.
Background. Published data support genetic variants, as well as certain infectious agents, as potential risk factors for schizophrenia. Less is known about interactions between the risk factors. Aim. To evaluate exposure to infectious agents and host genetic variation as joint risk factors. Methods. We investigated four infectious agents: cytomegalovirus (CMV), herpes simplex viruses 1 and 2 (HSV1, HSV2), and Toxoplasma gondii (TOX). We initially compared exposure using specific serum antibodies, among simplex and multiplex nuclear families (one or more than one affected offspring, respectively). If interactions between infectious agents and host genetic variation are important risk factors for schizophrenia, we reasoned that they would be more prominent among multiplex versus simplex families. We also evaluated the role of variation at chromosome 6p21-p23 in conjunction with exposure. We used 22 short tandem repeat polymorphisms (STRPs) dispersed across this region. Results. Though exposure to all four agents was increased among multiplex families versus simplex families, the difference was consistently significant only for CMV (odds of exposure to CMV in multiplex families: 2.47, 95% CI: 1.48-5.33). Transmission disequilibrium tests and case-control comparisons using STRPs revealed significant linkage/association with D6S2672 among CMV+ schizophrenia patients. Conclusions. Polymorphisms near D6S2672 could confer risk for schizophrenia in conjunction with CMV exposure.