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Springerplus. 2015 Apr 30;4:200. doi: 10.1186/s40064-015-0990-y. eCollection 2015.

Genetic variability in the region encompassing reiteration VII of herpes simplex virus type 1, including deletions and multiplications related to recombination between direct repeats.

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Department of Nutrition & Health Science, Faculty of Human Environmental Science, Fukuoka Woman's University, Fukuoka, 813-8529 Japan.
Department of Dermatology, Sakura Medical Center, School of Medicine, Toho University, Sakura, Chiba 285-8741 Japan.
Division of Human Molecular Genetics, Center for Genetic Information, Medical Institute of Bioregulation, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, 812-8582 Japan.


A number of tandemly reiterated sequences are present on the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) DNA molecule of 152 kbp. While regions containing tandem reiterations were usually unstable, reiteration VII, which is present within the protein coding regions of gene US10 and US11, was stable; hence, reiteration VII could be used as a genetic marker. In the present study, the nucleotide sequences (159-213 bp) of a region encompassing reiteration VII of 62 HSV-1 isolates were compared with that of strain 17 as the standard strain, and the genetic variability of base substitutions, deletions, and multiplications was revealed. Base substitution was observed in nine residues on the region flanking reiteration VII and sixty-two HSV-1 isolates were classified into twelve groups based on these base substitutions. Deletions, which were present in all sixty-two isolates, were classified into six groups. Multiplications, which were present in 19 isolates having the same deletion (named del-2), were classified into four groups. The sixty-two isolates were classified into twenty patterns based on variations in the region encompassing reiteration VII, and the region encompassing reiteration VII was considered to be useful for studies on the molecular epidemiology and evolution of HSV-1. The lengths of these deletions and multiplications were multiples of 3; thus, a frame-shift mutation was not induced, and a mechanism to maintain the functions of US10 and US11 was suggested. A series of multiplications, which consisted of the duplication, triplication, and tetraplication of the same sequence, were found. Since all isolates with a multiplication had del-2, multiplications were assumed to be generated after the generation of del-2, and an isolate with del-2 was considered to have the ability to generate a multiplication. Recombination between a pair of direct repeats in and around reiteration VII was accountable for the generation of deletions and multiplications, indicating the recombinogenic property of the region encompassing reiteration VII. A correlation was revealed between a set of 20 DNA polymorphisms widely present on the HSV-1 genome and the base substitutions and deletions of the region encompassing reiteration VII, using discriminant analyses.


Deletion; Direct repeats; Evolution; Herpes simplex virus type 1; Molecular epidemiology; Multiplication; Nucleotide sequences; Recombination; Reiteration

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