We have tested a number of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) populations for their ability to enter and express virus polypeptides in non-permissive rat XC cells. The viruses tested included 40 intratypic F(MP) recombinants and different batches of virus, belonging to the same strains, that had been produced in two different permissive systems (HEp-2 or Vero cells). Our results indicated that the ability to infect XC cells was determined in part by genetic elements of the virus genome and in part by phenotypic characteristics conferred by the permissive cell that had produced the virus: a virus strain like HSV-1 MP which, when produced in HEp-2 cells, was able to infect XC cells, lost this ability when produced in Vero cells. Working only with viruses produced in HEp-2 cells we showed that the ability to enter XC cells could be transferred from the MP strain to the F strain (which does not normally infect XC cells efficiently) by transfer of the cloned HI B (map units 0.745 to 0.81) or HI L (map units 0.706 to 0.745) fragments isolated from MP DNA. The implicated locus or loci seemed to segregate, however, from loci controlling gC synthesis and cell fusion, which have been described as mapping in the same region.

Keyword(s): HSV-1 , penetration and XC cells

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