Previously, we established HEp2 cell lines which express the US3 protein kinase of herpes simplex virus type 2 upon induction with IPTG. Using these cells, we examined whether expression of US3 is sufficient to protect cells from apoptotic cell death induced by sorbitol. Cells expressing US3 showed significantly reduced nuclear fragmentation in the degree that DNA fragmentation and caspase-3 activation were suppressed. It is known that stressors such as osmotic shock and UV irradiation induce the activation of the JNK (c-Jun N-terminal kinase), which can lead to apoptotic cell death. Expression of US3 resulted in the suppression of sorbitol-induced phosphorylation of JNK and MKK4/SEK1, suggesting that the suppression of apoptotic cell death was due to the attenuation of JNK activity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases