Inhibition of cyclooxygenase 2 blocks human cytomegalovirus replication

Hua Zhu, Jian Ping Cong, Deborah Yu, Wade A. Bresnahan, Thomas E. Shenk

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Cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) mRNA, protein, and activity are transiently induced after infection of human fibroblasts with human cytomegalovirus. Prostaglandin E2, the product of COX-2 activity, is transiently increased by a factor of >50 in cultures of virus-infected fibroblasts. Both specific (BMS-279652, 279654, and 279655) and nonspecific (indomethacin) COX-2 inhibitors can abrogate the virus-mediated induction of prostaglandin E2 accumulation. Levels of COX-2 inhibitors that completely block the induction of COX-2 activity, but do not compromise cell viability, reduce the yield of human cytomegalovirus in human fibroblasts by a factor of >100. Importantly, the yield of infectious virus can be substantially restored by the addition of prostaglandin E2 together with the inhibitory drug. This finding argues that elevated levels of prostaglandin E2 are required for efficient replication of human cytomegalovirus in fibroblasts. COX-2 inhibitors block the accumulation of immediate-early 2 mRNA and protein, but have little effect on the levels of immediate-early 1 mRNA and protein. Viral DNA replication and the accumulation of some, but not all, early and late mRNAs are substantially blocked by COX-2 inhibitors. Elevated levels of prostaglandin E2 apparently facilitate the production of immediate-early 2 protein. The failure to produce normal levels of this critical viral regulatory protein in the presence of COX-2 inhibitors might block normal progression beyond the immediate-early phase of human cytomegalovirus infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3932-3937
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 19 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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