The herpes simplex virus 1 mutants from which both copies of the gamma(1)34.5 gene had been deleted trigger total shutoff of protein synthesis in human neuroblastoma cells and human foreskin fibroblasts but not in African green monkey (Vero) cells. The carboxyl-terminal 64 amino acids of gamma(1)34.5 are homologous to the corresponding domain of MyD116, a murine myeloid differentiation primary responsive gene. The carboxyl-terminal domain of gamma(1)34.5 is required to preclude the shutoff of protein synthesis (J. Chou and B. Roizman, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 91:5247-5251, 1994). We report that in-frame substitution of the carboxyl terminus of gamma(1)34.5 with the corresponding domain of MyD116 in the context of the viral genome restored the ability of gamma(1)34.5 to preclude premature shutoff of protein synthesis in both neuroblastoma cells and in human foreskin fibroblasts. The results suggest that (i) in the course of its evolution, the virus "borrowed" a gene fragment to preclude a cell response to infection and (ii) the carboxyl terminus of MyD116 and its family of genes known as GADD34 may have a similar function(s) in cells stressed by growth arrest, DNA damage, and differentiation and in herpes simplex virus infection
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