Single cell transcriptomics of iciHHV-6 cell lines immortalized by EBV infection

Transcription of HHV-6 genes was rare, but occurred most often in cells with the highest levels of EBV transcription.

The EBV-immortalized lymphoblastoid cell lines HG00362 and HG01277 contain inherited chromosomally-integrated HHV-6A (iciHHV-6A) and HHV-6B (iciHHV-6B), respectively.  Past bulk RNA-seq experiments have found little evidence of HHV-6 gene transcription in these cell lines.

An investigator at Barnard College, Columbia University, conducted single-cell RNAseq studies of HHV-6, EBV and host gene transcription in these cell lines. In those cells with the highest levels of EBV gene transcription there was also transcription of HHV-6 genes (Figure 1), below.  The study provides no information on the mechanisms by which high levels of EBV gene transcription encourage HHV-6 gene transcription.

The authors argue that EBV-immortalized cell lines containing iciHHV-6 may be a model for studying the mechanisms by which these viruses trans-activate each other.

Figure 1. Gene expression measured by unique molecular identifier (UMI) counts per cell. Levels of EBV gene transcription are displayed on the y axis. Levels of HHV-6 gene transcription are depicted by green dots, colored as indicated on the linear-scale heatmap. The gray dots represent cells with no detectable HHV-6 transcription.

Read the full article:  Miranda 2023