Inhibition of eukaryotic host transcription initiation by virus

The host RNA polymerase II transcribes messenger RNAs with help of general initiation factors namely TFIIB, TFIID, TFIIE, TFIIF and TFIIH. They assemble on promoter DNA with polymerase II, creating a large multiprotein-DNA complex that supports efficient transcription.

Several viruses have evolved strategies to interfere with host transcription initiation factors. Inhibiting host transcription eventually leads to shutoff of host proteins expression and gives viruses transcripts a competitive edge for access to the cellular translation machinery. Preventing the expression of host proteins is also a strategy to counteract the antiviral response.The TATA-binding protein (TBP) is inhibited by HPV16 E7 protein or by adenovirus E1A protein, and it is cleaved by the poliovirus 3C protease. Thogoto virus ML protein interacts with host TFIIB and strongly inhibits IRF3 and NF-kappaB-regulated promoters. Varicella virus IE63 targets TFIIE, while Rift Valley fever virus targets TFIIH complex, showing the different strategies viruses use to downregulate host transcription.

Viruses inhibiting transcription initiation:

Family Virus Viral protein strategy of transcription initiation inhibition references
Orthomyxoviridae, Thogotovirus Thogoto virus ML Inhibition of TFIIB
Papillomaviridae, alphapapillomavirus HPV16 E7 Inhibition of TBP
Picornaviridae Poliovirus 3C Cleavage of TBP
Bunyaviridae, Phlebovirus Rift valley fever virus NSs Downregulates TFIIH subunit p62
Herpesviridae Varicella virus IE63 Disruption of the transcriptional pre-initiation complex
Adenoviridae, Mastadenovirus Adenovirus E1A Inhibition of TBP

Matching UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot entries

15 entries grouped by strain (browse by keywords)

1 entry

Acidianus two-tailed virus (ATV) reference strain

RIP_ATV RNAP inhibitory protein (RIP)

1 entry

Bunyavirus La Crosse reference strain

NSS_BUNLC Non-structural protein NS-S

1 entry

Bunyavirus La Crosse (isolate Human/United States/L78/1978) reference strain

NSS_BUNL8 Non-structural protein NS-S

1 entry

Human adenovirus C serotype 2 (HAdV-2) (Human adenovirus 2) reference strain

E1A_ADE02 Early E1A protein (Early E1A 32 kDa protein)

1 entry

Human adenovirus C serotype 5 (HAdV-5) (Human adenovirus 5) reference strain

E1A_ADE05 Early E1A protein (Early E1A 32 kDa protein)

1 entry

Rift valley fever virus (strain ZH-548 M12) (RVFV) reference strain

NSS_RVFVZ Non-structural protein S (NSs)

1 entry

Varicella-zoster virus (strain Dumas) (HHV-3) (Human herpesvirus 3) reference strain

ICP22_VZVD Transcriptional regulator ICP22 homolog (Immediate-early protein 63) (IE63) (Transcriptional ...

1 entry

Bunyavirus germiston

NSS_BUNGE Non-structural protein NS-S

1 entry

Bunyavirus snowshoe hare

NSS_BUNSH Non-structural protein NS-S

1 entry

Poliovirus type 1 (strain Sabin)

POLG_POL1S Genome polyprotein [Cleaved into: P1; Capsid protein VP0 (VP4-VP2); Capsid protein VP4 (P1A) (Virion ...

1 entry

Poliovirus type 2 (strain Lansing)

POLG_POL2L Genome polyprotein [Cleaved into: P1; Capsid protein VP0 (VP4-VP2); Capsid protein VP4 (P1A) (Virion ...

1 entry

Poliovirus type 2 (strain W-2)

POLG_POL2W Genome polyprotein [Cleaved into: P1; Capsid protein VP0 (VP4-VP2); Capsid protein VP4 (P1A) (Virion ...

1 entry

Poliovirus type 3 (strain 23127)

POLG_POL32 Genome polyprotein [Cleaved into: P3; Protein 3AB; P1; Capsid protein VP0 (VP4-VP2); Capsid protein ...

1 entry

Poliovirus type 3 (strains P3/Leon/37 and P3/Leon 12A[1]B)

POLG_POL3L Genome polyprotein [Cleaved into: P1; Capsid protein VP0 (VP4-VP2); Capsid protein VP4 (P1A) (Virion ...

1 entry

Varicella-zoster virus (strain Oka vaccine) (HHV-3) (Human herpesvirus 3)

ICP22_VZVO Transcriptional regulator ICP22 homolog (Immediate-early protein 63) (IE63) (Transcriptional ...