Rat cytomegalovirus (RCMV) open reading frame R44 is the homolog of human cytomegalovirus gene UL44, which encodes the DNA polymerase accessory protein. Here, we show that R44 is transcribed as a 3.6-kb mRNA within the early and late phases of infection in vitro. In order to find potential monoclonal antibodies (MoAbs) directed against the R44-encoded protein (pR44), a panel of anti-RCMV MoAbs was screened for binding to pR44 recombinant proteins. Thus, an anti-pR44 MoAb, termed RCMV8, was identified. By using this MoAb, pR44 could be detected as early as 8 h after RCMV infection in vitro. The pR44 protein was determined to have a molecular mass of approximately 55 kDa and was found to be localized to the nucleus of RCMV-infected cells.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 1, 2001