An enzyme activity from herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1)-infected baby hamster kidney cells has been identified which generates large networks of pBR322 DNA from a monomeric DNA substrate. Extracts derived from cells infected at the non-permissive temperature, with the early regulatory mutants of HSV-1, K and B2, did not contain activity, suggesting that the enzyme is virus-induced and may be virus-specific. The enzyme is similar to the DNA topoisomerases in that network formation was dependent upon the presence of Mg and a DNA condensing agent, and ATP was not required. Following digestion with RI, the networks could be resolved to a single, linear, monomeric species of pBR322 DNA.


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