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Int J Cancer. 1989 Jul 15;44(1):101-9.

Partial transcription map of Marek's disease herpesvirus in lytically infected cells and lymphoblastoid cell lines.

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AFRC Institute for Animal Health, Houghton Laboratory, Huntingdon, Cambs, UK.


Marek's disease herpesvirus (MDV) can cause either a productive-restrictive or lytic infection, a latent infection or can transform thymus-derived lymphocytes. RNA was extracted from infected chicken embryo fibroblasts (CEF) or from lymphoblastoid tumour cell lines. Some of the infected CEF were treated with 200 micrograms/ml cycloheximide to identify immediate early (IE) transcripts, and others with 1 microM 1-(2-fluoro-2-deoxy-B-D-arabinofuranosyl)-5-methyluracil (FMAU), an inhibitor of herpesvirus DNA synthesis to identify early transcripts. An extensive Northern blot analysis was carried out using DNA probes spanning almost the complete MDV genome. In the lytically infected CEF at least 66 discrete transcripts were detected, ranging in size from 9.1 kb to 0.6 kb. Eleven IE transcripts were identified, of which 8 were mapped in the genome segment consisting of the IRL, IRS, US and TRS. Six transcripts were identified as early genes. In the MD lymphoblastoid cell lines MDCC-HPI, a non-producer cell line, and MDCC-CU41, a non-expression cell line, 4 and 7 transcripts were detected, respectively. These RNAs were transcribed from IE genes located mainly in the repeat sequences flanking UL and US and in US. Treatment of the lymphoblastoid cell lines with 20 micrograms/ml 5-iodo-2-deoxyuridine resulted in the additional transcription of 1 RNA species in HPI and 9 in CU41. Most of the transcripts present in lytically infected cells were also detected in MDCC-CU36, a cell line with a high percentage of antigen-positive cells (expression cell line).

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