NF-κB is required for apoptosis prevention during herpes simplex virus type 1 infection

Margot L. Goodkin, Adrian T. Ting, John A. Blaho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


Wild-type herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infection triggers apoptosis in human cells. The subsequent synthesis of infected cell proteins between 3 and 6 h postinfection (hpi) acts to block this process from killing the cells. The factors produced during this window also prevent cell death induced by environmental staurosporine or sorbitol (M. Aubert, J. O'Toole, and J. A. Blaho, J. Virol. 73:10359-10370, 1999). We now report that (i) during the prevention window, HSV-1(F) also inhibited apoptosis induced by tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) plus cycloheximide (CHX) treatment. While deciphering the mechanism of this inhibition, we observed that (ii) the transcription factor NF-κB translocated from the cytoplasm into the nuclei of infected cells, and (iii) this migration initiated at 3 hpi. (iv) The complete inhibition of protein synthesis at 3 hpi by the addition of CHX precluded NF-κB translocation, while CHX additions at 6 hpi or later did not elicit this effect. This result confirms that infected cell protein synthesis is required for the nuclear import of NF-κB. (v) The detection of NF-κB in nuclei correlated with the ability of HSV-1(F), HSV-1(KOS1.1), or HSV-1(R7032), a replication-competent recombinant virus containing a deletion in the gene encoding the gE glycoprotein, to prevent apoptosis. (vi) NF-κB did not bind its κB DNA recognition site and remained cytoplasmic in cells actively undergoing apoptosis following infection with HSV-1(vBSΔ27), a virus with the key regulatory protein ICP27 deleted. (vii) Prestimulation of NF-κB by the addition of a phorbol ester prevented HSV-1(vBSΔ27)induced apoptosis. (viii) Retention of NF-κB in the cytoplasm by the addition of a pharmacological antagonist of its release from IκBα led to an increase in death factor processing during HSV-1(F) infection. (ix) A novel HEp-2 clonal cell line, termed IκBαDN, was generated which expresses a dominant-negative form of IκBα. Treatment of IκBαDN cells with TNF-α in the absence of CHX resulted in apoptotic death due to the inability of NF-κB to become activated in these cells. Finally, (x) infection of IκBαDN cells with HSV-1(F) or HSV1(KOS1.1) resulted in apoptosis, demonstrating that (xi) the nuclear translocation of NF-κB between 3 and 6 hpi (the prevention window) is necessary to prevent apoptosis in wild-type HSV-1-infected human HEp-2 cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7261-7280
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


Dive into the research topics of 'NF-κB is required for apoptosis prevention during herpes simplex virus type 1 infection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this