The goal of this report was to determine if the region of the LAT gene that is colinear with ICP34.5 (kb 6.2 to 7.1 of LAT) is involved in spontaneous reactivation of herpes simplex virus type 1. We inserted one copy of the ICP34.5 gene into the unique long region of a herpes simplex virus type 1 (strain McKrae) mutant lacking both copies of ICP34.5 (one in each viral long repeat) and the corresponding 917-nucleotide colinear portion of LAT (kb 6.2 to 7.1). Rabbits were ocularly infected with this mutant, and spontaneous reactivation relative to that for the wild-type virus and the original mutant was measured. As we previously reported, the original ICP34.5-deleted virus (d34.5) was significantly impaired for spontaneous reactivation and virulence (G. C. Perng, R. L. Thompson, N. M. Sawtell, W. E. Taylor, S. M. Slanina, H. Ghiasi, R. Kaiwar, A. B. Nesburn, and S. L. Wechsler, J. Virol. 69:3033-3041, 1995). In contrast, we report here that restoration of one copy of ICP34.5 at a distant location completely restored the wild-type level of in vivo spontaneous reactivation, despite retention of the deletion in LAT (spontaneous reactivation rate = 0.3 to 1.4% for the ICP34.5 deletion mutant, 7.7 to 19.6% for the wild type, and 9 to 16.1% for virus with one copy of ICP34.5). Thus, the 917-nucleotide region of LAT from kb 6.2 to 7.1 was not involved in the LAT function required for wild-type spontaneous reactivation. We also found that restoration of a single ICP34.5 gene in a novel location did not restore wild-type virulence (rabbit death rate = 0% [0 of 15] for the original ICP34.5 deletion mutant, 8% [2 of 24] for the single-copy IPC34.5 virus, and 52% [14 of 27] for wild-type virus; P < 0.001 for one versus two copies of ICP34.5). It is likely that either two gene doses of ICP34.5 or its location in the long repeat is essential for full functionality of ICP34.5's virulence function. Furthermore, the ability of the single-copy ICP34.5 virus to reactivate at wild-type levels despite being significantly less virulent than wild-type virus separates the spontaneous reactivation phenotype from the virulence phenotype.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science