We expressed the bovine herpesvirus type 1 (BHV-1) glycoproteins, gI and gIII, in bovine cells using a bovine papillomavirus vector. The proteins expressed by these cells had the same as the native BHV-1 proteins and monoclonal antibodies detected no differences in their antigenic structure. Cells expressing gI were infected with either BHV-1 or herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). The number of plaques in gI-expressing cells was similar to that seen with normal fibroblasts infected with BHV-1 or HSV-1. However, BHV-1 or HSV-1 plaques produced in gI-expressing cells were smaller and darker than those seen in normal fibroblasts indicating an interference with cell-to-cell transmission or cellular lysis. Virus growth curves and [S]methionine labelling of BHV-1-infected gI-expressing cells showed no difference in virus production, virus protein synthesis or cellular protein shutdown when compared to BHV-1-infected normal cells. This led us to conclude that the gI protein may interfere with a cellular protein(s) responsible for the cytopathic effects of BHV-1 infection. Cells expressing gIII were fully susceptible to BHV-1 infection.


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