Activation of proto-oncogenes: an immediate early event in human cytomegalovirus infection

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Science  02 Feb 1990:
Vol. 247, Issue 4942, pp. 561-564
DOI: 10.1126/science.1689075


A rapid increase in the RNA levels of the proto-oncogenes c-fos, c-jun, and c-myc was detected after human cytomegalovirus infection. Neither inactivation of viral infectivity with ultraviolet irradiation (with or without psoralen), nor inhibition of translation with cycloheximide or anisomycin adversely affected the enhanced expression of proto-oncogenes, even though these treatments substantially reduced or eliminated the detection of immediate early viral antigens. The increase in the RNA levels of the proto-oncogenes was prevented in the presence of alpha-amanitin or actinomycin D. Thus, expression of these oncogenes appears to be induced by events occurring before the onset of viral protein synthesis, perhaps by the interaction of viral particles with the cell surface.

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