All characterized alphaherpesviruses encode a protein whose N-terminal region contains a novel zinc-binding motif, the CHC domain. Homology between the different proteins is in general limited to key residues in this domain. In order to identify a separate landmark site in the CHC protein encoded by varicella-zoster virus gene , namely the region required for nuclear localization, we have analysed a range of mutants in transient expression and immunofluorescence experiments. A basic region (RGAKRR) at residues 387 to 392 was found to be required for nuclear localization, and residues 390 and 391 were critical.


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