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Lee S.,National Creative Research Initiatives Center for Antigen Presentation | Lee S.,Seoul National University | Song J.,National Creative Research Initiatives Center for Antigen Presentation | Song J.,Seoul National University | And 14 more authors.
Cell Host and Microbe

Virulence of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) clinical isolates correlates with carriage of a 15 kb segment in the UL/b′ region of the viral genome, which is absent from attenuated strains. The mechanisms by which this segment contributes to HCMV virulence remain obscure. We observed that intergenic RNA sequences within the 15 kb segment function as a microRNA (miRNA) decay element (miRDE) and direct the selective, sequence-specific turnover of mature miR-17 and miR-20a encoded within the host miR-17-92 cluster. Unlike canonical miRNA-mRNA interactions, the miRNA-miRDE interactions did not repress miRDE expression. miRNA binding site mutations retargeted miRDE to other miR-17-92 cluster miRNAs, which are otherwise resistant to miRDE-mediated decay. miRDE function was required to accelerate virus production in the context of lytic HCMV infection. These results indicate a role for viral noncoding RNA in regulating cellular miRNAs during HCMV pathogenesis and suggest that noncoding RNAs may play a role in mature miRNA turnover. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. Source

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