In alphaherpesviruses, glycoprotein I (gI) and glycoprotein E (gE) form a heterodimer that functions in cell-to-cell spread of the virus. Generally, alphaherpesvirus mutants that lack these glycoproteins are replication competent in cell culture but show a reduced capacity for cell-to-cell spread and hence smaller plaque sizes. Infectious laryngotracheitis virus (ILTV), or Gallid herpesvirus 1, is an alphaherpesvirus that causes respiratory disease in chickens. The roles of gI and gE in ILTV have not been investigated previously. In this study, a glycoprotein I and glycoprotein E deletion mutant of ILTV (gI/gE-ve ILTV) was generated by replacing the region of the ILTV genome coding for the adjacent gI and gE genes with the gene for enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP). This gI/E-ve ILTV was readily propagated in cell culture in the presence of wildtype ILTV (wt ILTV). However, in the absence of wt ILTV the propagation of gI/gE-ve ILTV was severely impaired. Infection of permissive cell cultures with gI/gE-ve ILTV failed to produce plaques but single infected cells could be identified by fluorescence microscopy. This suggests that gI/gE has a more significant role in the cell-to-cell spread of ILTV in vitro than in many other alphaherpesviruses.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 1, 2006
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