The primary site for life-long latency of bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV-1) is sensory neurons. The synthetic corticosteroid dexamethasone consistently induces reactivation from latency; however the mechanism by which corticosteroids mediate reactivation is unclear. In this study, we demonstrate for the first time that dexamethasone stimulates productive infection, in part, because the BHV-1 genome contains more than 100 potential glucocorticoid receptor (GR) response elements (GREs). Immediate early transcription unit 1 (IEtu1) promoter activity, but not IEtu2 or VP16 promoter activity, was stimulated by dexamethasone. Two near perfect consensus GREs located within the IEtu1 promoter were necessary for dexamethasone-mediated stimulation. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays and chromatin immunoprecipitation studies demonstrated that the GR interacts with IEtu1 promoter sequences containing the GREs. Although we hypothesize that DEX-mediated stimulation of IEtu1 promoter activity is important during productive infection and perhaps reactivation from latency, stress likely has pleiotropic effects on virus-infected cells.
- Glucocorticoid receptor
- Glucocorticoid response element
- Immediate early transcription unit 1
- Stress-induced viral replication
ASJC Scopus subject areas