The nature of the DNA molecules synthesized in nuclei of herpes simplex virus (HSV)-infected cells and was studied by chromatography on BND-cellulose columns after shearing to DNA fragments of 10 to 20 × 10 daltons. The incorporation of labelled precursors occurs in the DNA fragments containing single-stranded regions, presumably the replication forks. Prolongation of DNA synthesis leads to the accumulation of labelled DNA fragments that lack single-stranded sequences. Analysis of the isolated DNA fragments by density centrifugation in CsCl gradients revealed that most of the labelled DNA molecules are of virus specificity and the minority are cellular DNA fragments. Double-stranded virus DNA fragments and virus DNA fragments containing single-stranded sequences band in CsCl gradients at a density of 1.718 g/ml, the density of virion DNA. This suggests that the replicating HSV DNA molecules have the same density as the virion DNA and contain relatively little single-stranded DNA. The synthesis of HSV DNA molecules under conditions in isolated nuclei occurs by incorporation of the precursors into DNA fragments with single-stranded regions. The synthesis of cellular DNA in nuclei from hydroxyurea and cytosine arabinoside treated cells also occurs by elongation of nascent DNA chains.


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