HSV1 MicroRNA Modulation of GPI Anchoring and Downstream Immune Evasion

Jonatan Enk, Assi Levi, Yiska Weisblum, Rachel Yamin, Yoav Charpak-Amikam, Dana G. Wolf, Ofer Mandelboim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1) is a ubiquitous human pathogen that utilizes variable mechanisms to evade immune surveillance. The glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchoring pathway is a multistep process in which a myriad of different proteins are covalently attached to a GPI moiety to be presented on the cell surface. Among the different GPI-anchored proteins there are many with immunological importance. We present evidence that the HSV1-encoded miR H8 directly targets PIGT, a member of the protein complex that covalently attaches proteins to GPI in the final step of GPI anchoring. This results in a membrane down-modulation of several different immune-related, GPI-anchored proteins, including ligands for natural killer-activating receptors and the prominent viral restriction factor tetherin. Thus, we suggest that by utilizing just one of dozens of miRNAs encoded by HSV1, the virus can counteract the host immune response at several key points.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)949-956
Number of pages8
JournalCell Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - 18 Oct 2016


  • GPI anchoring
  • HSV1
  • immune evasion
  • microRNA
  • NK cells
  • tetherin


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