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J Virol. 1988 Sep;62(9):3250-7.

Conservation of sequence and function between the product of the 52-kilodalton immediate-early gene of herpesvirus saimiri and the BMLF1-encoded transcriptional effector (EB2) of Epstein-Barr virus.

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  • 1Division of Virology, National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London, United Kingdom.


We present a sequence of 2,220 nucleotides from a region of the genome of herpesvirus saimiri (HVS) which includes the coding and putative regulatory sequences for the 52-kilodalton (kDa) immediate-early (IE) phosphoprotein of the virus. The amino acid sequence predicted for this protein shows it to be homologous to the EB2 transcriptional effector encoded by the BMLF1 open reading frame of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), the IE 68-kDa protein of varicella-zoster virus, and the IE 63-kDa (alpha 27) protein of herpes simplex virus (HSV). By measuring the function of the HVS 52-kDa-protein gene in transient expression assays, we also showed that it can substitute with comparable efficiency for the EB2 product of EBV in the EB1-dependent activation of the EBV DR promoter. The alpha 27 gene of HSV was an inefficient trans-activator in similar assays. We conclude that the IE 52-kDa protein of HVS is structurally and functionally more similar to the homologous protein of the human lymphotropic virus, EBV, than to the corresponding proteins from the neurotropic viruses, varicella-zoster virus and HSV.

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