tsBN2, a temperature-sensitive (ts) growth mutant of the hamster cell line BHK-21, has a point mutation in the (regulator of chromosome condensation) gene, and prematurely enters mitosis at 39·5 °C, a nonpermissive temperature. In this mutant at 39·5 °C infectious progeny of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) was not produced and replication of HSV-1 DNA was inhibited. HSV-1 DNA from virus particles is normally circularized upon infection, and circularized HSV-1 DNA molecules can serve as template for DNA replication. In tsBN2 at 39·5 °C, HSV-1 DNA appeared to remain linear after infection, suggesting the obstruction of HSV-1 DNA circularization, which could account for failure of HSV-1 DNA replication. In transient replication assays performed in tsBN2 at 39·5 °C, through superinfection with HSV-1 helper virus, there was no evidence of replication of circular DNA of the hybrid plasmid containing the HSV-1 replication origin. Production of mRNAs of HSV-1 early genes required for HSV-1 DNA replication was decreased in tsBN2 at 39·5 °C. Therefore, RCC1 was assumed to be involved in the formation of an HSV-1 DNA configuration suitable for replication (that is circularization) and the supply of proteins required for replication of the circularized HSV-1 DNAs.


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