Epigenetic control of cytomegalovirus latency and reactivation

Xue Feng Liu, Xueqiong Wang, Shixian Yan, Zheng Zhang, Michael Abecassis, Mary Hummel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) gene expression is repressed in latency due to heterochromatinization of viral genomes. In murine CMV (MCMV) latently infected mice, viral genomes are bound to histones with heterochromatic modifications, to enzymes that mediate these modifications, and to adaptor proteins that may recruit co-repressor complexes. Kinetic analyses of repressor binding show that these repressors are recruited at the earliest time of infection, suggesting that latency may be the default state. Kidney transplantation leads to epigenetic reprogramming of latent viral chromatin and reactivation of immediate early gene expression. Inflammatory signaling pathways, which activate transcription factors that regulate the major immediate early promoter (MIEP), likely mediate the switch in viral chromatin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1325-1345
Number of pages21
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 22 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Chromatin
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Epigenetics
  • Intrinsic immunity
  • Latency
  • Reactivation
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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