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J Virol. 1995 Dec;69(12):8041-5.

Identification of human telomeric repeat motifs at the genome termini of human herpesvirus 7: structural analysis and heterogeneity.

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  • 1Laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) and HHV-7 are closely related T-lymphotropic betaherpesviruses which share a common genomic organization and are composed of a single unique component (U) that is bounded by direct repeats (DRL and DRR). In HHV-6, a sequences have been identified at each end of the DR motifs, resulting in the arrangement aDRLa-U-aDRRa. In order to determine whether determine whether HHV-7 contains similar a sequences, we have sequenced the DRL-U and U-DRR junctions of HHV-7 strain JI, together with the DRR.DRL junction from the head-to-tail concatamer that is generated during productive virus infection. In addition, we have sequenced the genomic termini of an independent isolate of HHV-7. As in HHV-6, a (GGGTTA)n motif identical to the human telomeric repeat sequence (TRS) was identified adjacent to, but not at, the genome termini of HHV-7. The left genome terminus and the U-DRR junction contained a homolog of the consensus herpesvirus packaging signal, pac-1, followed by short tandem arrays of TRSs separated by single copies of a second 6-bp repeat. This organization is similar to the arrangement found at U-DRR in HHV-6 but differs from it in that the TRS arrays are considerably shorter in HHV-7. The right genome terminus and the DRL-U junction contained a homolog of the consensus herpesvirus packaging signal, pac-2, followed by longer tandem arrays of TRSs separated by single copies of either a 6-bp or a 14-bp repeat. This arrangement is considerably more complex than the simple tandem array of TRSs that is present at the corresponding genomic location in HHV-6 and corresponds to a site of both inter- and intrastrain heterogeneity in HHV-7. The presence of TRSs in lymphotropic herpesviruses from humans (HHV-6 and HHV-7), horse (equine herpesvirus 2), and birds (Marek's disease virus) is striking and suggests that these sequences may have functional or structural significance.

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