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J Virol. 2007 Jun;81(12):6605-13. Epub 2007 Apr 4.

Herpes simplex virus latency-associated transcript sequence downstream of the promoter influences type-specific reactivation and viral neurotropism.

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  • 1Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD 20892-4555, USA.

Abstract

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) establishes latency in sensory nerve ganglia during acute infection and may later periodically reactivate to cause recurrent disease. HSV type 1 (HSV-1) reactivates more efficiently than HSV-2 from trigeminal ganglia while HSV-2 reactivates more efficiently than HSV-1 from lumbosacral dorsal root ganglia (DRG) to cause recurrent orofacial and genital herpes, respectively. In a previous study, a chimeric HSV-2 that expressed the latency-associated transcript (LAT) from HSV-1 reactivated similarly to wild-type HSV-1, suggesting that the LAT influences the type-specific reactivation phenotype of HSV-2. To further define the LAT region essential for type-specific reactivation, we constructed additional chimeric HSV-2 viruses by replacing the HSV-2 LAT promoter (HSV2-LAT-P1) or 2.5 kb of the HSV-2 LAT sequence (HSV2-LAT-S1) with the corresponding regions from HSV-1. HSV2-LAT-S1 was impaired for reactivation in the guinea pig genital model, while its rescuant and HSV2-LAT-P1 reactivated with a wild-type HSV-2 phenotype. Moreover, recurrences of HSV-2-LAT-S1 were frequently fatal, in contrast to the relatively mild recurrences of the other viruses. During recurrences, HSV2-LAT-S1 DNA increased more in the sacral cord compared to its rescuant or HSV-2. Thus, the LAT sequence region, not the LAT promoter region, provides essential elements for type-specific reactivation of HSV-2 and also plays a role in viral neurotropism. HSV-1 DNA, as quantified by real-time PCR, was more abundant in the lumbar spinal cord, while HSV-2 DNA was more abundant in the sacral spinal cord, which may provide insights into the mechanism for type-specific reactivation and different patterns of central nervous system infection of HSV-1 and HSV-2.

PMID:
17409161
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1900114
Free PMC Article
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