Marek’s disease is a contagious lymphoproliferative disease of chickens and typical model of viral oncogenesis. Mapping changes or different states over the course of infection for both host and pathogen would provide important insights into dynamic host-pathogen interactions. Researchers from Sun Yat-sen University have developed a 3′ end enriched RNA-seq as a novel method to study host-pathogen interactions in chicken embryo fibroblasts cells challenged with Marek’s disease virus. The method allowed accurate profiling of gene expression and alternative polyadenylation sites for host and pathogen simultaneously. They identified 476 differentially expressed genes and 437 APA switching genes in host, including switching in tandem 3′ UTRs and switching between coding region and 3′ UTR. Most of these genes were related to innate immunity, apoptosis and metabolism, but two sets of genes overlapped a little, suggesting two complementary mechanisms in gene regulation during MDV infection.
Workflow for 3′ end enriched RNA-seq of host and pathogen together
These results provide a relatively comprehensive insight into dynamic host-pathogen interactions in regulation of gene transcription during infection of Marek’s disease virus and suggested that 3′ end enriched RNA-seq is a promising method to investigate global host-pathogen interactions.