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J Virol. 1990 Jan;64(1):300-6.

Recombinogenic properties of herpes simplex virus type 1 DNA sequences resident in simian virus 40 minichromosomes.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor 48109-0620.


In a previous work, it was demonstrated that the bacterial transposon Tn5 is capable of undergoing sequence inversion via recombination between its duplicated IS50 elements when replicated by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) origin oris but not by the simian virus 40 (SV40) origin orisv. Further analysis of the latter phenomenon indicated that this lack of recombination was the result of topological constraints imposed by the SV40 minichromosome, such that recombination events could be readily detected in Tn5 derivatives in which the IS50 elements were arranged in a direct rather than inverted orientation. With this information, a second set of experiments were carried out to examine how the highly recombinogenic sequences which mediate the inversion of the long (L) and short (S) components of the HSV-1 genome behave in an SV40 minichromosome. Tandem copies of the L-S junction of the HSV-1 genome were observed to promote deletions in an SV40 shuttle plasmid at a frequency that was considerably greater than that of duplicated bacterial plasmid vector DNA. However, the presence of superinfecting HSV-1 did not enhance the frequency of these recombination events. These results support our previous findings that HSV-1 genome isomerization is mediated by a homologous recombination mechanism which is intimately associated with the act of viral DNA synthesis. Moreover, they demonstrate that the sequences which comprise the L-S junction appear to be inherently recombinogenic and, therefore, do not contain specific signals required for HSV-1 genome isomerization.

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