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Virology. 2000 Jan 20;266(2):310-8.

Characterization of the U(L)33 gene product of herpes simplex virus 1.

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Department of Microbiology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, 14853, USA.


The U(L)33 protein is one of six genes (including U(L)6, U(L)15, U(L)17, U(L)28, and U(L)32) required for cleavage of viral concatemeric DNA into unit-length genomes and packaging of the virus genomes into preformed capsids. The U(L)25 gene product is dispensable for cleavage of viral DNA but essential for packaging of DNA into capsids. A polyclonal antiserum was produced against an affinity-purified protein containing the full-length U(L)33 gene product of herpes simplex virus 1 fused to glutathione-S-transferase. A protein of approximate M(r) 19,000 that reacted with the antiserum was detected in immunoblots of herpes simplex virus 1-infected cellular lysates. This protein was not detected in lysates of mock-infected cells or cells infected with a mutant virus containing a stop codon in U(L)33, indicating that the 19,000 M(r) protein is the product of the U(L)33 open reading frame. The U(L)33 gene product was not detected in purified virions or capsids. Accumulation of the U(L)33 protein to detectable levels required viral DNA synthesis, indicating that the protein was regulated as a late gene. Indirect immunofluorescence analysis demonstrated that U(L)33 protein accumulated predominantly within replication compartments in the central domains of infected cell nuclei and within the cytoplasm. Localization of the U(L)33 gene product in replication compartments was maintained in cells infected with a variety of cleavage/packaging mutants.

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