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J Virol. 1992 May;66(5):2653-63.

Identification and characterization of the herpes simplex virus type 1 virion protein encoded by the UL35 open reading frame.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Louisiana State University Medical Center, Shreveport 71130-3932.


The UL35 open reading frame (ORF) of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) has been predicted from DNA sequence analysis to encode a small polypeptide with a molecular weight of 12,095. We have investigated the protein product of the UL35 ORF by using a trpE-UL35 gene fusion to produce a corresponding fusion protein in Escherichia coli. The TrpE-UL35 chimeric protein was subsequently isolated and used as a source of immunogen for the production of rabbit polyclonal antiserum directed against the UL35 gene product. The TrpE-UL35 antiserum was found to recognize a 12-kDa protein which was specifically present in HSV-1-infected cells. By utilizing the TrpE-UL35 antiserum, the kinetics of synthesis of the UL35 gene product was examined, and these studies indicate that UL35 is expressed as a gamma 2 (true late) gene. The 12-kDa protein recognized by the TrpE-UL35 antiserum was associated with purified HSV-1 virions and type A and B capsids, suggesting that the UL35 ORF may encode the 12-kDa capsid protein variably designated p12, NC7, or VP26. To confirm this assignment, immunoprecipitation and immunoblotting studies were performed to demonstrate that the TrpE-UL35 antiserum reacts with the same polypeptide as an antiserum directed against the purified p12 capsid protein (anti-NC7) (G.H. Cohen, M. Ponce de Leon, H. Diggelmann, W.C. Lawrence, S.K. Vernon, and R.J. Eisenberg, J. Virol. 34:521-531, 1980). Furthermore, the anti-NC7 serum was also found to react with the TrpE-UL35 chimeric protein isolated from E. coli, providing additional evidence that the UL35 gene encodes p12. On the basis of these studies, we conclude that UL35 represents a true late gene which encodes the 12-kDa capsid protein of HSV-1.

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