Zhao H, Chen M, Valdés A, Lind SB, Pettersson U
BMC Microbiol. 19 (1) 15 [2019-01-14; online 2019-01-14]
Human adenovirus (Ad) infection leads to the changes of host cell gene expression and biosynthetic processes. Transcriptomics in adenovirus type 2 (Ad2)-infected lung fibroblasts (IMR-90) cells has previously been studied using RNA sequencing. However, this study included only two time points (12 and 24 hpi) using constrained 76 bp long sequencing reads. Therefore, a more detailed study of transcription at different phases of infection using an up-graded sequencing technique is recalled. Furthermore, the correlation between transcription and protein expression needs to be addressed. In total, 3556 unique cellular genes were identified as differentially expressed at the transcriptional level with more than 2-fold changes in Ad2-infected cells as compared to non-infected cells by using paired-end sequencing. Based on the kinetics of the gene expression changes at different times after infection, these RNAs fell into 20 clusters. Among them, cellular genes involved in immune response were highly up-regulated in the early phase before becoming down-regulated in the late phase. Comparison of differentially expressed genes at transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels revealed low correlation. Particularly genes involved in cellular immune pathways showed a negative correlation. Here, we highlight the genes which expose inconsistent expression profiles with an emphasis on key factors in cellular immune pathways including NFκB, JAK/STAT, caspases and MAVS. Different from their transcriptional profiles with up- and down-regulation in the early and late phase, respectively, these proteins were up-regulated in the early phase and were sustained in the late phase. A surprising finding was that the target genes of the sustained activators failed to show response. There were features common to genes which play important roles in cellular immune pathways. Their expression was stimulated at both RNA and protein levels during the early phase. In the late phase however, their transcription was suppressed while protein levels remained stable. These results indicate that Ad2 and the host cell use different strategies to regulate cellular immune pathways. A control mechanism at the post-translational level must thus exist which is under the control of Ad2.