Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is a cellular enzyme in the eicosanoid synthetic pathway that mediates the synthesis of prostaglandins from arachidonic acid. The eicosanoids function as critical regulators of a number of cellular processes, including the acute and chronic inflammatory response, hemostasis, and the innate immune response. Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), which does not encode a viral COX-2 isoform, has been shown to induce cellular COX-2 expression. Importantly, although the precise role of COX-2 in CMV replication is unknown, COX-2 induction was shown to be critical for normal HCMV replication. In an earlier study, we identified an open reading frame (Rh10) within the rhesus cytomegalovirus (RhCMV) genome that encoded a putative protein (designated vCOX-2) with high homology to cellular COX-2. In the current study, we show that vCOX-2 is expressed with early-gene kinetics during RhCMV infection, resulting in production of a 70-kDa protein. Consistent with the expression of a viral COX-2 isoform, cellular COX-2 expression was not induced during RhCMV infection. Finally, analysis of growth of recombinant RhCMV with vCOX-2 deleted identified vCOX-2 as a critical determinant for replication in endothelial cells.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Virology|
|State||Published - Nov 2004|
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