Indexed on: 26 Oct '12Published on: 26 Oct '12Published in: Journal of virology
Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) is a double-stranded DNA virus that replicates in the nucleus of the host cell and is known to interact with several components of the cellular DNA-damage-signaling machinery. We have previously reported that the DNA damage response kinase, ATR, is specifically inactivated in HSV-1-infected cells. On the other hand, we have also shown that ATR and its scaffolding protein, ATRIP, are recruited to viral replication compartments, where they play beneficial roles during HSV-1 replication. In order to better understand this apparent discrepancy, we tested the hypothesis that some of the components of the ATR pathway may exert an antiviral effect on infection. In fact, we learned that all 10 of the canonical ATR pathway proteins are stable in HSV-infected cells and are recruited to viral replication compartments; furthermore, short hairpin RNA (shRNA) knockdown shows that several, including ATRIP, RPA70, TopBP1, Claspin, and CINP, are required for efficient HSV-1 replication. We also determined that activation of the ATR kinase prior to infection did not affect virus yield but did result in reduced levels of recombination between coinfecting viruses. Together, these data suggest that ATR pathway proteins are not antiviral per se but that activation of ATR signaling may have negative consequences during viral replication, such as inhibiting recombination.