The Role of the Human Cytomegalovirus UL133-UL138 Gene Locus in Latency and Reactivation

Luwanika Mlera, Melissa Moy, Kristen Maness, Linh N. Tran, Felicia D. Goodrum

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) latency, the means by which the virus persists indefinitely in an infected individual, is a major frontier of current research efforts in the field. Towards developing a comprehensive understanding ofHCMVlatency and its reactivation from latency, viral determinants of latency and reactivation and their host interactions that govern the latent state and reactivation from latency have been identified. The polycistronic UL133-UL138 locus encodes determinants of both latency and reactivation. In this review, we survey the model systems used to investigate latency and new findings from these systems. Particular focus is given to the roles of the UL133, UL135, UL136 and UL138 proteins in regulating viral latency and how their known host interactions contribute to regulating host signaling pathways towards the establishment of or exit from latency. Understanding the mechanisms underlying viral latency and reactivation is important in developing strategies to block reactivation and prevent CMV disease in immunocompromised individuals, such as transplant patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number714
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • DNA virus
  • Human cytomegalovirus
  • UL135
  • UL136
  • UL138
  • herpesvirus
  • latency
  • reactivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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