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Virology. 2009 Aug 15;391(1):99-106. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2009.05.034. Epub 2009 Jun 26.

Characterization of the guinea pig cytomegalovirus genome locus that encodes homologs of human cytomegalovirus major immediate-early genes, UL128, and UL130.

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Department of Virology I, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, 1-23-1 Toyama, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8640, Japan.


We reported previously that the guinea pig cytomegalovirus (CMV) stock purchased from the American Type Culture Collection contained two types of strains, one containing and the other lacking a 1.6 kb locus, and that the 1.6 kb locus was required for efficient viral growth in animals but not in cell culture. In this study, we characterized the genetic contents of the locus, and found that i) the 1.6 kb locus encodes homologs of human CMV UL128 and UL130, GP129 and GP131, respectively, ii) these genes are expressed with late gene kinetics, iii) GP131 protein (pGP131) localized to cell surface only in the presence of glycoproteins H and L, and iv) pGP131 is a virion component. Therefore, it is plausible that pGP131 forms a complex with glycoproteins H and L and becomes a virion component as does UL130 protein (pUL130). Since pUL130 is one of the glycoproteins essential for infection of endothelial and epithelial cells in human and primates, functional and immunological analyses of this GPCMV homolog of pUL130 may help to illuminate the in vivo role of pUL130.

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