Viruses target epigenetic processes

This 2018 Colorado review subject was general and specific ways viruses target epigenetic processes:

“We describe viral mechanisms and virus-host interactions by which DNA tumor viruses regulate host DNA methylation to evade antiviral immunity.

It is well known that most endogenous retroviruses and retrotransposons in the human genome are inactivated by DNA hypermethylation. In addition to endogenous retroviruses, the genomes of DNA viruses, such as human papillomavirus (HPV), herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1), adenovirus, and hepatitis B virus (HBV), are also frequently methylated and silenced in infected cells.

A recently described mechanism for viruses to epigenetically subvert host immunity is repression of immune-related gene expression by induction of DNA hypermethylation. Some host genes are not silenced simply through promoter hypermethylation or histone deacetylation alone, and therefore, viruses may have evolved mechanisms to ensure host gene downregulation through multiple epigenetic modifications.” “DNA Tumor Virus Regulation of Host DNA Methylation and Its Implications for Immune Evasion and Oncogenesis”

A second 2018 New York study focused on the Zika virus and DNA methylation:

“We studied the impact of ZIKV infection on the DNA methylation pattern across the entire genome in selected neural cell types. The virus unexpectedly alters the DNA methylome of neural progenitors, astrocytes, and differentiated neurons at genes that have been implicated in the pathogenesis of a number of brain disorders.

It remains open, however, whether the methylation changes come first or whether the viral infection dysregulates epigenetic regulatory genes prior to any epigenetic shift.” “Zika Virus Alters DNA Methylation of Neural Genes in an Organoid Model of the Developing Human Brain”

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