In the cytoplasm of eucaryotic cells, mRNA is associated with proteins. These mRNA-protein complexes, termed messenger ribonucleoprotein (mRNP) particles, are divided into two functional classes. The first class contains free (non-ribosome-associated) mRNPs which have been termed informosomes by others. The second class of mRNPs, those associated with polysomes, are actively engaged in protein synthesis and are termed polysomal mRNPs. The experiments described in this paper examined the proteins associated with polyribosomes in uninfected and herpes simplex virus type 1-infected cells. The data indicate that after infection with herpes simplex virus type 1, specific changes occur in the proteins which normally are found associated with these polysomal mRNPs. These changes include both the appearance of new and possibly virus-specific proteins and the loss of normal host-specific proteins. The relationship of these changes to the patterns of protein synthesis in these cells is also discussed
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