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Virus Genes. 1998;16(3):239-51.

HSV molecular biology: general aspects of herpes simplex virus molecular biology.

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Division of Virology, University of Glasgow, Scotland.


Comparison of the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) DNA sequence with that of other alpha, beta and gamma-herpesviruses, allied with molecular genetic studies have greatly increased understanding of the HSV genome and the functions encoded by individual virus genes and has facilitated the development of rational antiviral strategies. Here we review the coding content of the HSV-1 genome and identify: genes encoding structural components of the capsid, tegument or envelope; genes whose products are essential for growth in tissue culture; and genes that are conserved between members of the alpha, beta and gamma-herpesvirinae. The HSV lifecycle and the main regulation cascade is discussed and genes that present targets for antiviral intervention identified. The protein content of the infectious virion particle is reviewed and compared with that of two additional non-infectious HSV-related particles species (L-particles and pre-DNA replication particles (PREPs)). The potential of HSV-1 L particles and PREP particles as DNA-free HSV-1 vaccine candidates and the desirability of deleting specific gene products from live HSV vaccines is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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