Simian varicella is used as a model to investigate varicella-zoster virus pathogenesis and to evaluate antiviral therapies. In this study, the simian varicella virus (SVV) glycoprotein L (gL) was characterized along with its association with glycoprotein H (gH). The SVV gL gene encodes a predicted 175 amino acid polypeptide that shares 43.5% and 27.9% amino acid identity with the VZV gL and HSV-1 gL, respectively. The SVV gL polypeptide sequence lacks a consensus glycosylation site and a typical signal sequence, but does possess an endo-plasmic reticulum targeting sequence found commonly in chaperone proteins. Transcriptional analysis indicated that the SVV gL and the uracil DNA glycosylase (UDG) genes share a common 5′ RNA start site and are co-expressed on a 2.0 kb transcript. gL and gH expression in SVV-infected Vero cells was demonstrated by immunofluorescence and immunoprecipitation analyses using specific antisera generated against gL and gH peptides. Similar to other herpesvirus gH and gL homologs, the SVV gL and gH form a complex within infected cells. gL and gH transcripts and antigens were detected in tissues of monkeys with acute simian varicella. The simian varicella model offers an opportunity to investigate the role of the gL and gH in viral pathogenesis.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 1, 2002
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