Previous analysis of the M73 -to- m74/M75 intergenic region of murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) identified a family of 3′-co-terminal spliced transcripts that includes M73 and M73.5 . The current study investigated whether similar families of spliced genes also exist in the human CMV (HCMV) and rat CMV (RCMV) genomes. Northern blot, RT-PCR and RACE-PCR analysis of HCMV transcripts showed that while mRNAs from HCMV UL73 and a putative UL73.5 homologue were spliced and 3′-co-terminal, they were not 5′-co-terminal. In contrast, the spliced RCMV R73 and R73.5 transcripts were arranged in a similar manner to those in MCMV and found to be both 5′ and 3′-co-terminal. In both the HCMV and RCMV genomes, additional non-coding spliced transcripts were found to originate from these regions. These results highlight that families of spliced transcripts coding for structural glycoproteins are likely to be a conserved feature of this region of betaherpesviral genomes.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2009
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