The herpesvirus saimiri (HVS) gene product encoded by ORF 57 shares limited C-terminal similarity with herpes simplex virus 1 ICP27, a protein that has been demonstrated to be involved in the inhibition of host-cell splicing and is responsible for the redistribution of components of the spliceosome. It has previously been shown that ORF 57 can either activate or repress viral gene expression by a post-transcriptional mechanism. Furthermore, repression of gene expression by ORF 57 is dependent on the presence of an intron within the target gene coding region. In this report, it is shown that HVS infection results in the redistribution of the SC-35 splicing factor in the infected cell nucleus. Furthermore, the redistributed SC-35 colocalized with the ORF 57 protein product and expression of the protein alone was sufficient to cause the redistribution of the spliceosome components. These results suggest that the mechanism by which ORF 57 down-regulates expression of intron-containing genes involves the redistribution of the spliceosome complex.


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