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Journal of virology

Divergent MicroRNA targetomes of closely related circulating strains of a polyomavirus.


PMID 23926342

Abstract

Hundreds of virus-encoded microRNAs (miRNAs) have been uncovered, but an in-depth functional understanding is lacking for most. A major challenge for the field is separating those miRNA targets that are biologically relevant from those that are not advantageous to the virus. Here, we show that miRNAs from related variants of the polyomavirus simian vacuolating virus 40 (SV40) have differing host target repertoires (targetomes) while their direct autoregulatory activity on virus-encoded early gene products is completely preserved. These results underscore the importance of miRNA-mediated viral gene autoregulation in some polyomavirus life cycles. More broadly, these findings imply that some host targets of virus-encoded miRNAs are likely to be of little selective advantage to the virus, and our approach provides a strategy for prioritizing relevant targets.