VP22 is a major tegument protein of herpes simplex virus type 1 and is highly phosphorylated in the infected cell. Indirect evidence exists to suggest that it is encoded by gene UL49, present in the HI F fragment of the genome. Using the polymerase chain reaction we have cloned the UL49 open reading frame into a mammalian expression vector under the control of the human cytomegalovirus immediate early gene promoter. After transfection into COS-7 cells expression of the gene product was detected by means of Western blotting and immunofluorescence. The results clearly indicate that the protein encoded by UL49 is VP22, and that in transfected cells it appears to have characteristics similar to those of the protein synthesized in infected cells.


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