Responses to human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection are largely individual and cell type specific. We investigated molecular profiles in 2 primary cell cultures of human fibroblasts, which are highly or marginally sensitive to HCMV infection, respectively. We screened expression of genes and microRNAs (miRs) at the early (3 hours) stage of infection. To assess molecular pathway activation profiles, we applied bioinformatic algorithms OncoFinder and MiRImpact. In both cell types, pathway regulation properties at mRNA and miR levels were markedly different. Surprisingly, in the infected highly sensitive cells, we observed a “freeze” of miR expression profiles compared to uninfected controls. Our results evidence that in the sensitive cells, HCMV blocks intracellular regulation of microRNA expression already at the earliest stage of infection. These data suggest somewhat new functions for HCMV products and demonstrate dependence of miR expression arrest on the host-encoded factors.
Cytomegalovirus infection; gene transcription; human fibroblasts; intracellular signaling pathway regulation; microRNA; total miRNAome