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Alternatively spliced mRNAs predicted to yield frame-shift proteins and stable intron 1 RNAs of the herpes simplex virus 1 regulatory gene alpha 0 accumulate in the cytoplasm of infected cells.

By K L Carter and B Roizman


The infected cell protein no. 0 (ICP0), the product of the alpha 0 gene, and an important herpes simplex virus 1 regulatory protein is encoded by three exons. We report that intron 1 forms a family of four stable nonpolyadenylylated cytoplasmic RNAs sharing a common 5' end but differing in 3' ends. The 5' and 3' ends correspond to the accepted splice donor and four splice acceptor sites within the mapped intron domain. The most distant splice acceptor site yields the mRNA encoding the 775-aa protein known as ICP0. The mRNAs resulting from the use of alternative splice acceptor sites were also present in the cytoplasm of infected cells and would be predicted to encode proteins of 152 (ICP0-B), 87 (ICP0-C), and 90 (ICP0-D) amino acids, respectively. Both the stability of the alpha 0 mRNA and the utilization of at least one splice acceptor site was regulated by ICP22 and or US1.5 protein inasmuch as cells infected with a mutant from which these genes had been deleted accumulated smaller amounts of alpha 0 mRNA than would be predicted from the amounts of accumulated intron RNAs. In addition, one splice acceptor site was at best underutilized. These results indicate that both the splicing pattern and longevity of alpha 0 mRNA are regulated. These and other recent examples indicate that herpes simplex virus 1 regulates its own gene expression and that of the infected cells through control of mRNA splicing and longevity

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1996
DOI identifier: 10.1073/pnas.93.22.12535
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
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