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Acta Virol. 1999 Apr-Jun;43(2-3):164-8.

Glycoprotein gD of MDV lacks functions typical for alpha-herpesvirus gD homologues.

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Institute of Virology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovak Republic.


Glycoprotein D (gD) belongs to family of conserved structural proteins of alpha-herpesviruses. During productive infection of cells by herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) gD has several important functions, is involved in virus penetration to and release from infected cells and is one of main targets of neutralizing antibodies. Similar functions are shared also by other alpha-herpesvirus gD homologues. Surprisingly, in previous studies it was found that MDV gD expression could not be detected during infection in vitro using immunological methods. In this study we have analyzed expression of MDV gD and its biological consequences. In vitro expression using rabbit reticulocyte lysate and/or overexpression in transfected cells showed that the second ATG codon is required for synthesis of mature, glycosylated gD. In addition, it was found that gD overexpression is neither toxic for transfected cells nor is involved in membrane fusion. After MDV infection of a proprietary cell line stably transfected with plasmid overexpressing MDV gD, no viral particles could be found in culture. On the other hand, cells overexpressing the MDV gD were sensitive to MDV infection in similar way as parental, non-transfected cells. From our study and results of other authors we propound the following conclusions: (i) MDV gD expression is blocked during in vitro infection at transcription level; (ii) MDV gD is lacking many important functions characteristic for other alpha-herpesvirus gD homologues; (iii) overexpression of single MDV gD does not result in production of mature infectious MDV particles.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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