It has been suggested that herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1 may induce a virus-specific DNA topoisomerase activity which copurifies with virus-induced DNA polymerase. We have examined DNA topoisomerase (TOPO) I and II activities in HSV-2-infected HeLa S3 cells. Both activities were partially purified using DEAE-cellulose, phosphocellulose and double-stranded DNA cellulose column chromatography. It was found that both activities could be separated from HSV-2-specific DNA polymerase. Throughout the purification TOPO I could be immunologically detected with a monoclonal antibody developed against human TOPO I. Regardless of the source, mock- or HSV-2-infected human cells, both types of topoisomerase were equally tolerant of 200 m-KCl. There appeared to be no apparent heterogeneity of TOPO I in HeLa S3 cells through the course of the HSV-2 infection. We conclude that host cell topoisomerases are quite stable in HSV-2-infected HeLa S3 cells and that there is no evidence that HSV-2 is capable of inducing HSV-2-specific TOPO I and TOPO II activities.

Keyword(s): DNA polymerase , HSV-2 and topoisomerase

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