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J Med Virol. 2003;70 Suppl 1:S64-70.

Identification of the authentic varicella-zoster virus gB (gene 31) initiating methionine overlapping the 3' end of gene 30.

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Departments of Microbiology and Pediatrics, University of Iowa, 200 Hawkins Drive, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.


The varicella-zoster virus (VZV) gB sequence was re-examined in light of recent knowledge about unusually long gB signal peptides in other herpesviral gB homologs. Through mutational analysis, the discovery was made that the authentic initiating methionine for VZV gB is a codon beginning at genome nucleotide 56,819. The total length for the VZV gB primary translation product was 931 amino acids (aa) with a 71-aa signal sequence. Considering the likely signal sequence cleavage site to be located between Ser 71 and Val 72, the length of the mature VZV gB polypeptide would then be 860 amino acids prior to further internal endoproteolytic cleavage between amino acids Arg 494 and Ser 495. In this report, we also produced a full-length gB and demonstrated its association with VZV gE, suggesting a possible gE-gB interaction during gB trafficking before its cleavage in the Golgi.

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