Mammalian ribonucleotide reductase is a complex enzyme modified in its activity by a complex regulatory system involving adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and deoxyribonucleoside triphosphates. Infection of KB cells with herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1 or 2 induces the formation of an altered ribonucleotide reductase. The properties of partially purified reductase from uninfected KB cells have been compared with the enzymes obtained from HSV-1 and HSV-2 infected KB cells. We found that the virus-induced enzymes are similar to the KB enzyme in some properties but differed significantly from the host enzyme in three respects: (1) virus induced reductase was not inhibited significantly by deoxythymidine triphosphate regardless of ATP concentration, (2) magnesium was not required for virus enzyme activity although 2 m-Mg did stimulate the reaction, and (3) magnesium concentration required for optimal activity was different for virus and host enzymes. These changes are evidence that the enzyme molecules present after infection by HSV-1 or HSV-2 differ from those present before infection.


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