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Transcriptional Profiling of MEq-Dependent Genes in Marek’s Disease Resistant and Susceptible Inbred Chicken Lines

Subramaniam, Sugalesini, Preeyanon, Likit, Cheng, Hans H., Zhou, Huaijun
PloS one 2013 v.8 no.10
Mardivirus, Marek disease, binding sites, carcinogenesis, carcinogenicity, chickens, disease resistance, gene expression, genes, genetic resistance, microarray technology, single nucleotide polymorphism, transcription (genetics), transcription factors, transcriptomics
Marek’s disease (MD) is an economically significant disease in chickens caused by the highly oncogenic Marek’s disease virus (MDV). Understanding the genes and biological pathways that confer MD genetic resistance should lead towards the development of more disease resistant commercial poultry flocks or improved MD vaccines. MDV mEq, a bZIP transcription factor, is largely attributed to viral oncogenicity though only a few host target genes have been described, which has impeded our understanding of MDV-induced tumorigenesis. Given the importance of mEq in MDV-induced pathogenesis, we explored the role of mEq in genetic resistance to MDV. Using global transcriptome analysis and cells from MD resistant or susceptible birds, we compared the response to infection with either wild type MDV or a nononcogenic recombinant lacking mEq. As a result, we identified a number of specific genes and pathways associated with either MD resistance or susceptibility. Additionally, integrating prior information from ChIP-seq, microarray analysis, and SNPs exhibiting allele-specific expression (ASE) in response to MDV infection, we were able to provide evidence for 24 genes that are polymorphic within mEq binding sites are likely to account for gene expression in an allele-specific manner and potentially for the underlying genetic differences in MD incidence.