Ultraviolet-induced cell death blocked by a selenoprotein from a human dermatotropic poxvirus

Joanna L. Shisler, Tatiana G. Senkevich, Maria J. Berry, Bernard Moss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Selenium, an essential trace element, is a component of prokaryotic and eukaryotic antioxidant proteins. A candidate selenoprotein homologous to glutathione peroxidase was deduced from the sequence of molluscum contagiosum, a poxvirus that causes persistent skin neoplasms in children and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients. Selenium was incorporated into this protein during biosynthesis, and a characteristic stem-loop structure near the end of the messenger RNA was required for alternative selenocysteine decoding of a potential UGA stop codon within the open reading frame. The selenoprotein protected human keratinocytes against cytotoxic effects of ultraviolet irradiation and hydrogen peroxide, providing a mechanism for a virus to defend itself against environmental stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-105
Number of pages4
Issue number5347
StatePublished - Jan 2 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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