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Arch Virol. 2011 Oct;156(10):1847-51. doi: 10.1007/s00705-011-1027-7. Epub 2011 May 29.

Human cytomegalovirus latency-associated protein LUNA is expressed during HCMV infections in vivo.

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  • 1Institut de recherches cliniques de MontrĂ©al, 110, avenue des Pins Ouest, Montreal, QC, H2W 1R7, Canada.


Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) latency is poorly understood. We previously described a novel HCMV latency-associated transcript, UL81-82ast, coding for a protein designated LUNA (latency unique natural antigen). The aim of this study was to confirm the presence of LUNA in HCMV-seropositive donors. Standard co-immunoprecipitation and ELISA assays were used to detect antibodies against the LUNA protein in the sera of HCMV-seropositive donors. Specific antibodies against LUNA were detected in all HCMV-seropositive donors but in none of the seronegative donors. These data confirm that LUNA is expressed during in vivo infections and is capable of eliciting an immune response.

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