Infection of cultured bovine cells with bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV-1) or Sendai virus induces different beta interferon subtypes

Leticia Frizzo da Silva, Clinton Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In contrast to mice or humans, cattle contain three beta interferon (IFN-β) genes with distinct transcriptional promoters suggesting IFN-β gene expression is not stimulated the same by different viruses. To test this hypothesis, we compared expression of the three IFN-β subtypes after infection with a RNA virus, Sendai, versus a large DNA virus, bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV-1). Infection of low passage bovine kidney (BK) or established bovine kidney cells (CRIB) with Sendai virus has consistently led to high levels of IFN-β1 RNA. Conversely, infection of CRIB cells, but not BK cells, with BHV-1 increased IFN-β3 RNA levels and to a lesser extent the other two IFN-β subtypes. Inhibition of de novo protein synthesis with cycloheximide resulted in higher levels of IFN-β1 and IFN-β2 RNA levels after BHV-1 infection. Further studies demonstrated that BHV-1 immediate early and/or early genes were primarily responsible for inhibiting the IFN response in BK cells. The three bovine IFN-β promoters were cloned upstream of a reporter gene construct, and their properties analyzed in transient transfection assays. Only the IFN-β3 promoter was trans-activated by IRF3 (interferon responsive factor 3). IRF7 and double stranded RNA (polyI:C) stimulated IFN-β1 and IFN-β3 promoter activity, but not IFN-β2. Relative to the human IFN-β promoter, the IFN-β3 promoter contained fewer nucleotide differences in the positive regulatory domain III (PRD III), PRD IV, and PRD I compared to the IFN-β1 and IFN-β2 promoter. Collectively, these studies provide evidence that virus infection differentially stimulates expression of the three bovine IFN-β genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-60
Number of pages7
JournalVirus Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • BHV-1
  • Beta-interferon induction
  • IRF3
  • IRF7
  • Sendai virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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