Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
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.

Author information

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


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.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk