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Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) play vital roles in the pathogenesis of infectious diseases, but the role of lncRNAs in herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) infection remains unknown. Using RNA sequencing analysis, we explored lncRNAs that were highly expressed in murine retinal photoreceptor cell-derived 661W cells infected with HSV-1. U90926 RNA (522 nucleotides) was the most upregulated lncRNA detected post HSV-1 infection. The level of U90926 RNA was continuously increased post HSV-1 infection, reaching a 100-fold increase at 24 h. Cellular fractionation showed that U90926 RNA was located in the nucleus post HSV-1 infection. Downregulation of U90926 expression by RNA interference markedly suppressed HSV-1 DNA replication (80% reduction at 12 h post infection) and HSV-1 proliferation (93% reduction at 12 h post infection) in 661W cells. The survival rates of U90926-knockdown cells were significantly increased compared to those of control cells (81% and 21%, respectively; p < 0.0001). Thus, lncRNA U90926 is crucial for HSV-1 proliferation in retinal photoreceptor cells and consequently leads to host cell death by promoting HSV-1 proliferation.


Shintaro Shirahama, Rena Onoguchi-Mizutani, Kentaro Kawata, Kenzui Taniue, Atsuko Miki, Akihisa Kato, Yasushi Kawaguchi, Rie Tanaka, Toshikatsu Kaburaki, Hidetoshi Kawashima, Yoshihiro Urade, Makoto Aihara, Nobuyoshi Akimitsu. Long noncoding RNA U90926 is crucial for herpes simplex virus type 1 proliferation in murine retinal photoreceptor cells. Scientific reports. 2020 Nov 10;10(1):19406

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PMID: 33173149

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