Regulation of epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGFR) signaling is critical for the replication of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) as well as latency and reactivation in CD34+ hematopoietic progenitor cells. HCMV microRNAs (miRNAs) provide a means to modulate the signaling activated by EGF through targeting components of the EGFR signaling pathways. Here, we demonstrate that HCMV miRUS5-2 directly downregulates the critical EGFR adaptor protein GAB1 that mediates activation and sustained signaling through the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and MEK/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathways and cellular proliferation in response to EGF. Expression of HCMV UL138 is regulated by the transcription factor early growth response gene 1 (EGR1) downstream of EGFR-induced MEK/ERK signaling. We show that by targeting GAB1 and attenuating MEK/ERK signaling, miRUS5-2 indirectly regulates EGR1 and UL138 expression, which implicates the miRNA in critical regulation of HCMV latency.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology