Seven cell lines, transformed to a thymidine kinase-positive phenotype with herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) DNA fragments, have been examined to determine their virus-specific DNA sequence content. The results are consistent with the reported map position of the HSV-2 thymidine kinase gene. Different cell lines contained different amounts of non-selected virus-specific sequences and this correlated with the ability of some cell lines to compensate the deficiencies in some temperature-sensitive () mutants of HSV-1 and HSV-2. The cell lines were also examined for their ability to synthesize elevated levels of thymidine kinase in response to infection with a thymidine kinase-negative virus mutant. Of the seven cell lines, two failed to respond to infection in this way and these cell lines lacked sequences on the upstream side of the kinase gene which were present in the remaining cell lines.


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