Submitted to: Herpesvirus International Workshop
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/24/2010
Publication Date: 7/24/2010
Citation: Heidari, M., Xu, M., Zhang, H., Lee, L.F., Silva, R.F. 2010. Meq is an immunosuppressive oncogene [abstract]. In:35th Annual International Herpesvirus Workshop, July 24-29, 2010, Salt Lake City, Utah. Paper #8.52.
Technical Abstract: Marek’s Disease (MD) is a lymphoproliferative disease of domestic chickens caused by a highly cell-associated alpha herpesvirus, Marek’s disease virus (MDV). MDV encodes a basic leucine zipper protein, meq (MDV Eco Q), which is homologous to the Jun/Fos family of transcription factor and is consistently expressed in all tumor and MDV-transformed cell lines. MD-susceptible chickens were inoculated with 5000 pfu of either rMd5 or rMd5deltameq at one week of age and spleen samples were collected at 5, 14, and 21 days post inoculation. RNA and DNA samples isolated from the collected spleen tissues were used for gene expression analysis and MDV genome copy number determination. A comparative Real-Time RT-PCR analysis of more than 23 cytokine, chemokine and other immune related genes revealed significant differences in expression levels between rMd5- and rMd5deltameq-infected chickens. The transcriptional levels of most of the tested genes were down regulated in rMd5-infected chickens when compared to the rMd5deltameq-infected birds. This preliminary data indicates that meq functions as an immunosuppressive oncoprotein in addition to the transformation of T cells and inhibition of apoptosis.