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J Med Virol. 2000 Aug;61(4):497-503.

Oka varicella vaccine is distinguishable from its parental virus in DNA sequence of open reading frame 62 and its transactivation activity.

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Kanonji Institute, The Research Foundation for Microbial Diseases of Osaka University, Kagawa, Japan.


When the nucleotide sequences of the Oka vaccine and its parental varicella-zoster virus (VZV) were compared in 6 open reading frames (ORFs), glycoprotein C (gC) and 5 transactivator genes, mutations were detected only in the immediate-early gene 62. The vaccine virus contained a mixture of different sequences that had variations at 15 nucleotide positions, but only one sequence was found for the Oka parental virus gene 62. The Oka vaccine virus gene 62 could be distinguished from the parental virus gene using a simplified restriction-enzyme fragment length polymorphism analysis, using NaeI and BssHII. This analysis was based on the sequence data obtained in this study. Studies of the regulatory activities of the ORF62 gene product (IE62) in a transient transfection assay indicated that IE62 of the parental virus had a stronger transactivational activity than that of the vaccine virus in activating immediate-early, early, and late gene promoters. These data suggest that IE62 might play an important role in the attenuation of VZV.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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