Herpes simplex virus 1 glycoprotein E (gE-1) is highly phosphorylated in culture cells during infection. In this report, it is shown that phosphorylation is mediated by host enzymes in human cells stably transfected with gE, in the absence of other herpesvirus products. In contrast, a tailless gE product (C terminus deletion mutant) is not phosphorylated. By using an kinase assay combined with linker-insertion mutagenesis, it is shown that casein kinase II catalyses the phosphorylation of the C-terminal domain of the protein. Also, it is demonstrated that the serine residues at positions 476 and/or 477 in the cytoplasmic portion of the protein are the major acceptors for the phosphate groups.


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