The infected cell protein 0 (bICP0) encoded by Bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV-1) stimulates viral gene expression and productive infection. As bICP0 is expressed constitutively during productive infection, it is considered to be the major viral regulatory protein. Like other alphaherpesvirus ICP0 homologues, bICP0 contains a zinc RING finger near its N terminus that activates transcription and regulates subcellular localization. In this study, evidence is provided that bICP0 represses the human beta interferon (IFN-β) promoter and a simple promoter with consensus IFN-stimulated response elements following stimulation with double-stranded RNA (polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid), IFN regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) or IRF7. bICP0 also inhibits the ability of two protein kinases (TBK1 and IKKε) to activate IFN-β promoter activity. The zinc RING finger is necessary for inhibiting IFN-dependent transcription in certain cell types. Collectively, these studies suggest that bICP0 activates productive infection by stimulating viral gene expression and inhibiting IFN-dependent transcription.
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