1887

Abstract

The Glasgow s17 syn+ strain of herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1) is arguably the best characterized strain and has provided the reference sequence for HSV1 genetic studies. Here we show that our original s17 syn+ stock was a mixed population from which we have isolated a minor variant that, unlike other strains in the laboratory, fails to be efficiently released from infected cells and spreads predominantly by direct cell-to-cell transmission. Analysis of other s17-derived viruses that had been isolated elsewhere revealed a number with the same release phenotype. Second-generation sequencing of 8 plaque-purified s17-derived viruses revealed sequences that vary by 50 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), including approximately 10 coding SNPs. This compared to interstrain variations of around 800 SNPs in strain Sc16, of which a quarter were coding changes. Amongst the variations found within s17, we identified 13 variants of glycoprotein C within the original stock of virus that were predominantly a consequence of altered homopolymeric runs of C residues. Characterization of seven isolates coding for different forms of gC indicated that all were expressed, despite six of them lacking a transmembrane domain. While the release phenotype did not correlate directly with any of these identified gC variations, further demonstration that nine clinical isolates of HSV1 also fail to spread through extracellular release raises the possibility that propagation in tissue culture had altered the HSV1 s17 transmission phenotype. Hence, the s17 intrastrain variation identified here offers an excellent model for understanding both HSV1 transmission and tissue culture adaptation.

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2019-10-29
2019-11-12
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