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Virology. 1990 Aug;177(2):570-7.

Analysis of the binding sites for the varicella-zoster virus gene 51 product within the viral origin of DNA replication.

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Medical Research Council Virology Unit, Institute of Virology, Glasgow, United Kingdom.


The C-terminal 322 amino acids of the varicella-zoster virus (VZV) gene 51 product were expressed in Escherichia coli and shown to bind to specific DNA sequences within the VZV origin of DNA replication. The gene 51 product and its herpes simplex virus type 1 homolog (the UL9 protein) are capable of recognizing identical DNA sequences but the arrangement of binding sites within the origin regions of the two viruses differs. Three binding sites for the VZV gene 51 protein were identified within the VZV origin region and these lie in the same orientation and on the same side of the origin palindromic DNA sequence. DNA replication assays in transfected tissue culture cells demonstrated that the site closest to the palindrome is essential for origin activity whereas the most distal site is dispensable. The middle binding site may play an auxiliary role in DNA synthesis.

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