In cells infected with herpes simplex virus a protein associated with the small subunit of ribosomes became phosphorylated. It was not detectably labelled with C-amino acids added after infection and is therefore probably a cellular protein. The phosphorylated ribosomal proteins from HSV-1- and HSV-2-infected cells were indistinguishable electrophoretically and had an apparent mol. wt. of about 48000.

Phosphorylation of the 48K protein was detected 2 to 3 h after infection and reached a maximum rate at 4 to 5 h. It was prevented by adding cycloheximide at 2 h, or actinomycin at 1.5 h p.i., or azetidine at the beginning of infection. The phosphorylation did not occur on reversal of a cycloheximide block in the presence of actinomycin, confirming that it is not caused by a virus α-polypeptide.

Virus that had been irradiated with u.v. light, although still able to suppress synthesis of cellular protein and DNA, did not induce phosphorylation of the 48K ribosomal protein. Therefore the phosphorylation is not responsible for the suppression of host synthesis.

The α polypeptides ICP 4, 0, 22 and 27 are also phosphorylated but, in contrast to that of the ribosomal protein, their phosphorylation does not depend on the synthesis of β and γ polypeptides. It is probably mediated by a host enzyme.


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