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Viruses 2017, 9(7), 173; doi:10.3390/v9070173

Telomeres and Telomerase: Role in Marek’s Disease Virus Pathogenesis, Integration and Tumorigenesis

1
Institut für Virologie, Freie Universität Berlin, Robert von Ostertag-Straße 7–13, 14163 Berlin, Germany
2
Department of Poultry Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Sohag University, Sohag 82424, Egypt
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Eric O. Freed
Received: 23 May 2017 / Revised: 15 June 2017 / Accepted: 26 June 2017 / Published: 4 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses and Telomeres)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1111 KB, uploaded 4 July 2017]   |  

Abstract

Telomeres protect the ends of vertebrate chromosomes from deterioration and consist of tandem nucleotide repeats (TTAGGG)n that are associated with a number of proteins. Shortening of the telomeres occurs during genome replication, thereby limiting the replication potential of somatic cells. To counteract this shortening, vertebrates encode the telomerase complex that maintains telomere length in certain cell types via de novo addition of telomeric repeats. Several herpesviruses, including the highly oncogenic alphaherpesvirus Marek’s disease virus (MDV), harbor telomeric repeats (TMR) identical to the host telomere sequences at the ends of their linear genomes. These TMR facilitate the integration of the MDV genome into host telomeres during latency, allowing the virus to persist in the host for life. Integration into host telomeres is critical for disease and tumor induction by MDV, but also enables efficient reactivation of the integrated virus genome. In addition to the TMR, MDV also encodes a telomerase RNA subunit (vTR) that shares 88% sequence identity with the telomerase RNA in chicken (chTR). vTR is highly expressed during all stages of the virus lifecycle, enhances telomerase activity and plays an important role in MDV-induced tumor formation. This review will focus on the recent advances in understanding the role of viral TMR and vTR in MDV pathogenesis, integration and tumorigenesis. View Full-Text
Keywords: herpesvirus; Marek’s disease virus (MDV); telomeres; telomerase; integration; tumorigenesis herpesvirus; Marek’s disease virus (MDV); telomeres; telomerase; integration; tumorigenesis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kheimar, A.; Previdelli, R.L.; Wight, D.J.; Kaufer, B.B. Telomeres and Telomerase: Role in Marek’s Disease Virus Pathogenesis, Integration and Tumorigenesis. Viruses 2017, 9, 173.

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