Studying AlternativePolyadenylation in Human Cells and Clinical Samples
during Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV)Infection
HCMV infection is the leadingcause for congenital abnormalities in the western world. We studiedtranscriptomic changes in human fibroblast and in clinical placenta samplesinfected by HCMV. Specifically, we followed the changes in 3’ UTR lengthresulting from alternative polyadenylation (APA) upon viral infection. Our datarevealed that HCMV infection induces extensive APA changes in infected cells,mostly associated with 3’UTR shortening. Interestingly, we found that APA ismore pronounced in infected placentas from women who have not been exposed tothe virus before. Our results suggested that changes in APA are widespread inHCMV infection and can potentially be used to predict disease severity incongenital HCMV.