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J Gen Virol. 2005 Apr;86(Pt 4):919-28.

Murine gammaherpesvirus-68 ORF28 encodes a non-essential virion glycoprotein.

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  • 1Division of Virology, Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1QP, UK.


Murine gammaherpesvirus-68 (MHV-68) ORF28 is a gammaherpesvirus-specific gene of unknown function. Analysis of epitope-tagged ORF28 protein indicated that it was membrane-associated and incorporated into virions in N-glycosylated, O-glycosylated and unglycosylated forms. The extensive glycosylation of the small ORF28 extracellular domain--most forms of the protein appeared to be mainly carbohydrate by weight--suggested that a major function of ORF28 is to attach a variety of glycans to the virion surface. MHV-68 lacking ORF28 showed normal lytic replication in vitro and in vivo and normal latency establishment. MHV-68 ORF28 therefore encodes a small, membrane-bound and extensively glycosylated virion protein, whose function is entirely dispensable for normal, single-cycle host colonization.

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