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Virology. 2002 Oct 10;302(1):71-82.

Physical and functional interaction between the varicella zoster virus IE63 and IE62 proteins.

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Department of Microbiology and Witebsky Center for Mirobial Pathogenesis and Immunology, University at Buffalo, New York 14214, USA.


The varicella zoster virus (VZV) IE63 protein is required for growth of the virus in cell culture and is expressed during both lytic and latent phases of VZV infection. We have investigated the physical and functional interaction of this protein with the major VZV transactivating protein IE62. The region of the IE63 protein required for interaction with the IE62 protein has been identified and encompasses the N-terminal 142 amino acids. We have found that the interaction is stable at physiological ionic strength. We have also shown that a portion of the IE63 and IE62 proteins colocalize in VZV-infected cells at both 15 and 48 h postinfection. IE63 was found to have no transcriptional activating or repressing activity within the context of a minimal VZV glycoprotein promoter. The presence of the IE63, however, upmodulated the IE62 transactivation of this promoter. Finally, we show that the IE63 protein can be coimmunoprecipitated with the cellular RNA polymerase II from infected cell extracts, indicating that it is present in a complex with that enzyme.

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