Fachbereich Veterinärmedizin



    Telomeres and Telomerase: Role in Marek's Disease Virus Pathogenesis, Integration and Tumorigenesis (2017)

    Zeitschriftenartikel / wissenschaftlicher Beitrag
    Kheimar, Ahmed (WE 5)
    Previdelli, Renato L (WE 5)
    Wight, Darren J (WE 5)
    Kaufer, Benedikt B (WE 5)
    Viruses; 9(7) — S. 1–13
    ISSN: 1999-4915
    DOI: 10.3390/v9070173
    Pubmed: 28677643
    Institut für Virologie

    Robert-von-Ostertag-Str. 7-13
    Gebäude 35
    14163 Berlin
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    Abstract / Zusammenfassung

    Telomeres protect the ends of vertebrate chromosomes from deterioration and consist of tandem nucleotide repeats (TTAGGG)n that are associated with a number of proteins. Shortening of the telomeres occurs during genome replication, thereby limiting the replication potential of somatic cells. To counteract this shortening, vertebrates encode the telomerase complex that maintains telomere length in certain cell types via de novo addition of telomeric repeats. Several herpesviruses, including the highly oncogenic alphaherpesvirus Marek's disease virus (MDV), harbor telomeric repeats (TMR) identical to the host telomere sequences at the ends of their linear genomes. These TMR facilitate the integration of the MDV genome into host telomeres during latency, allowing the virus to persist in the host for life. Integration into host telomeres is critical for disease and tumor induction by MDV, but also enables efficient reactivation of the integrated virus genome. In addition to the TMR, MDV also encodes a telomerase RNA subunit (vTR) that shares 88% sequence identity with the telomerase RNA in chicken (chTR). vTR is highly expressed during all stages of the virus lifecycle, enhances telomerase activity and plays an important role in MDV-induced tumor formation. This review will focus on the recent advances in understanding the role of viral TMR and vTR in MDV pathogenesis, integration and tumorigenesis.