Infection of thymidine kinaseless mouse cells (Cl-1D) by herpes simplex virus (type 1) was found to result in a stimulation of thymidine uptake into mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) during a pulse interval from 1 to 6 h post-infection (p.i.). Thymidine incorporation into mtDNA by organelles isolated at 6 h p.i. from infected cells exceeded that of mock-infected controls significantly. An identifical mitochondrial reaction was observed when infected cell cultures were pretreated with 2 µg cytosine arabinoside (ara C)/ml culture medium from 1 to 6 h p.i. Administration of 25 µg cycloheximide/ml instead of ara C abolished the effect of virus infection on mtDNA synthesis. The implications of these observations are discussed with respect to regulation of mtDNA synthesis in eukaryotic cells.


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