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Virology. 1986 Mar;149(2):152-64.

Regulation of herpes simplex virus 1 genes: alpha gene sequence requirements for transient induction of indicator genes regulated by beta or late (gamma 2) promoters.


This laboratory reported earlier that chimeric genes consisting of the structural sequences of the thymidine kinase (TK) gene fused to the promoter-regulatory domains of late (gamma 2) genes were regulated as bonafide gamma 2 genes when resident in the herpes simplex virus 1 genome but could not be differentiated from beta genes when introduced by transfection and stably integrated into the environment of the host genome (S. Silver and B. Roizman, Mol. Cell. Biol. 5, 518-528, 1985). We report here that beta-TK and the chimeric gamma 2-TK gene transfected into TK- baby hamster kidney (BHKtk-) were induced by alpha 4 and alpha 0 but not by the other alpha genes. Specifically: Both TK genes were induced by cotransfection with DNA fragments carrying an intact alpha 4 or an intact alpha 0 gene, but not by fragments carrying only the promoter-regulatory domain or the structural sequences of the alpha 4 gene or intact alpha 22, alpha 27, and alpha 47 genes. An alpha 4 gene carrying a 2700-bp deletion in its 3' coding sequence also induced both genes, although less efficiently. RNA homologous to the alpha 4 gene recovered from the cytoplasm of cells transfected with either the intact or truncated alpha 4 gene mapped to the bonafide site of transcription initiation of the alpha 4 gene. RNA homologous to the chimeric TK gene extracted from the cytoplasm of cells transfected with both gamma 2-TK and the alpha 4 gene was transcribed from the bonafide gamma 2 gene capping site fused to the TK gene. These results indicate that the alpha 4 gene and the alpha 0 gene are each capable of inducing the expression of both beta and gamma 2 genes resident in the environment of the cellular genome, that the active site responsible for induction is located near the N terminus of the alpha 4 protein, and reinforce the conclusion that gamma 2 genes resident in the environment of the host cell cannot be used to identify the authentic determinants of gamma 2 gene regulation by currently available tests.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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