Astrocytoma cells were transfected with an expression vector for the structural phosphoprotein ppUL83 (pp65) of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV). Once made, pp65 showed the same characteristics as naturally produced protein and was stable for several days in astrocytoma cells, as it is during HCMV replication in fibroblasts. In permanently transfected cells, pp65 was homogeneously dispersed in the cell nucleus and showed a preferential methanol-stable association with condensed chromatin throughout cell division. Furthermore, pp65 could be detected bound to metaphase-arrested chromosomes in pp65-expressing astrocytoma cells, and in fibroblasts and astrocytoma cells during productive virus infection.


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