Bovine herpesvirus type 1 (BHV-1) up-regulates telomerase activity in MDBK cells.

Vet Microbiol. 2006 Mar 31;113(3-4):231-6. Epub 2005 Dec 5

Pagnini U, De Martino L, Montagnaro S, Diodato A, Longo M, Pacelli F, Pisanelli G, Iovane G.

Department of Pathology and Animal Health, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Naples “Federico II”, Via Delpino no. 1, 80137 Naples, Italy.

The proliferative capacity of mammalian cells is regulated by telomerase, an enzyme uniquely specialised for telomeric DNA synthesis. The critical role of telomerase activation in tumor progression and maintenance has been well established in studies of cancer and of oncogenic transformation in cell culture. Experimental data suggest that telomerase activation has an important role in normal somatic cells, and that failure to activate sufficient telomerase also promotes disease. Evidence regarding the role of telomerase in the pathogenesis of several viruses including human immunodeficiency virus has led to an increased interest in the role of telomerase activity in other virus infections. In this research we evaluated the telomerase modulating activity of Bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV-1) in MDBK cells. MDBK cells were infected at different multiplicity of infection with BHV-1 Cooper strain and telomerase activity at different times post-infection was measured by the TRAP assay. Our data indicate that BHV-1 significantly up-regulates telomerase activity at 3 and 6h post-infection decreasing after the 24h post-infection. Our data, showed that the effect was mediated by an immediate-early or early viral gene, and use of the protein translation inhibitor cycloheximide confirmed that an immediate early gene is primarily responsible.