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PLoS One. 2009 Oct 15;4(10):e7457. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007457.

Direct Repeat 6 from human herpesvirus-6B encodes a nuclear protein that forms a complex with the viral DNA processivity factor p41.

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Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.


The SalI-L fragment from human herpesvirus 6A (HHV-6A) encodes a protein DR7 that has been reported to produce fibrosarcomas when injected into nude mice, to transform NIH3T3 cells, and to interact with and inhibit the function of p53. The homologous gene in HHV-6B is dr6. Since p53 is deregulated in both HHV-6A and -6B, we characterized the expression of dr6 mRNA and the localization of the translated protein during HHV-6B infection of HCT116 cells. Expression of mRNA from dr6 was inhibited by cycloheximide and partly by phosphonoacetic acid, a known characteristic of herpesvirus early/late genes. DR6 could be detected as a nuclear protein at 24 hpi and accumulated to high levels at 48 and 72 hpi. DR6 located in dots resembling viral replication compartments. Furthermore, a novel interaction between DR6 and the viral DNA processivity factor, p41, could be detected by confocal microscopy and by co-immunoprecipitation analysis. In contrast, DR6 and p53 were found at distinct subcellular locations. Together, our data imply a novel function of DR6 during HHV-6B replication.

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