1887

Abstract

Human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8) is a γ lymphotropic herpesvirus associated with Kaposi’s sarcoma, a major neoplasm of AIDS patients, and with other AIDS-related neoplasms. The HHV-8 ORF 57 gene is conserved throughout the herpesvirus family and has a herpes simplex virus type 1 homologue, IE63 (also termed ICP27), which is an essential regulatory protein and acts at both transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. We show that, contrary to the published HHV-8 sequence, which predicts a protein of 275 amino acids, the ORF 57 gene is spliced, contains a single intron and encodes a protein of 455 amino acids. For several gammaherpesviruses examined, the upstream coding exon is 16–17 amino acids in length and is rich in methionine residues. When ORF 57 was fused to the gene for enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP), the fusion protein exhibited a punctate nuclear distribution that co-localized with the cellular splicing factor SC-35. Unlike the IE63–EGFP fusion protein, ORF 57–EGFP did not shuttle from the nucleus to the cytoplasm in the presence of actinomycin D. However, ORF 57–EGFP was capable of shuttling from a transfected monkey nucleus to a recipient mouse nucleus in an interspecies heterokaryon assay. These data indicate that HHV-8 ORF 57 and IE63 possess certain common properties.

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1999-12-01
2020-10-26
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