A MicroRNA Derived from Adenovirus Virus-Associated RNAII Promotes Virus Infection via Posttranscriptional Gene Silencing.


Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan [Email] [Email]


The adenovirus (Ad) serotype 5 genome encodes two noncoding small RNAs (virus-associated RNAs I and II [VA-RNAI and -II]), which are approximately 160-nucleotide (nt) RNAs transcribed by RNA polymerase III. It is well known that VA-RNAI supports Ad infection via the inhibition of double-stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR), which recognizes double-stranded RNA and acts as an antiviral system. Recent studies revealed that VA-RNAs are processed into VA-RNA-derived microRNAs (miRNAs) (mivaRNAI and -II); however, we and another group recently demonstrated that mivaRNAI does not promote Ad replication. On the other hand, the roles of VA-RNAII and mivaRNAII in Ad replication have remained to be clarified. In this study, we demonstrated mivaRNAII-mediated promotion of Ad replication. Transfection with chemically synthesized 3'-mivaRNAII-138, one of the most abundant forms of mivaRNAII, significantly enhanced Ad replication, while the other species of mivaRNAII did not. We identified 8 putative target genes of 3'-mivaRNAII-138 by microarray analysis and in silico analysis. Among the 8 candidates, knockdown of the cullin 4A (CUL4A) gene, which encodes a component of the ubiquitin ligase complex, most significantly enhanced Ad replication. CUL4A expression was significantly suppressed by 3'-mivaRNAII-138 via posttranscriptional gene silencing, indicating that CUL4A is a target gene of 3'-mivaRNAII-138 and mivaRNAII functions as a viral miRNA promoting Ad infection. It has been reported that CUL4A is involved in degradation of c-Jun, which acts as a transcription factor in the Jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling cascade. Treatment with JNK inhibitors dramatically suppressed Ad replication, suggesting that mivaRNAII-mediated downregulation of CUL4A enhanced JNK signaling and thereby promoted Ad infection.IMPORTANCE Several types of viruses encode viral miRNAs which regulate host and/or viral gene expression via posttranscriptional gene silencing, leading to efficient viral infection. Adenovirus (Ad) expresses miRNAs derived from VA-RNAs (mivaRNAI and -II); however, recent studies have revealed that processing of VA-RNAI into mivaRNAI inhibits Ad replication. Conversely, we demonstrate here that mivaRNAII significantly promotes Ad replication and that mivaRNAII-mediated suppression of CUL4A expression via posttranscriptional gene silencing induces accumulation of c-Jun, leading to promotion of Ad infection. These results exhibited the significance of VA-RNAII for supporting Ad infection through a mechanism complementary to that of VA-RNAI. These observations could provide important clues toward a new perspective on host-virus interaction. Moreover, Ad is widely used as a basic framework for viral vectors and oncolytic viruses. Our findings will help to regulate Ad infection and will promote the development of novel Ad vectors and oncolytic Ad.


JNK signaling,adenoviruses,cullin 4A,microRNA,posttranscriptional gene silencing,