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Virology. 2010 Nov 25;407(2):171-7. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2010.08.029. Epub 2010 Sep 19.

UL84-independent replication of human cytomegalovirus strain TB40/E.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medicine, The Pennsylvania State University, Hershey, PA 17033, USA.


The UL84 gene of human cytomegalovirus is implicated in the initiation of viral DNA replication during lytic infection. UL84 is essential for replication of a cloned viral origin of lytic replication (oriLyt) in vitro and mutants of strains AD169 or Towne with deletions or insertions in UL84 fail to grow in cells permissive for wild type virus. Here we show that UL84 is dispensable for replication of a strain TB40/E clone derived from a bacterial artificial chromosome. The genomes of the fibroblast-adapted strains AD169 and Towne are altered substantially from the consensus for strains that have not been propagated extensively in cell culture. The parental TB40/E genome conforms to the consensus genomic organization. Accordingly, natural HCMV strains may possess replication capability that extends beyond the known oriLyt-dependent replication system of laboratory strains.

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