Isolation and characterization of deletion mutants of herpes simplex virus type 1 in the gene encoding immediate-early regulatory protein ICP4

N. A. DeLuca
Ann Marie McCarthy, University of Iowa
P. A. Schaffer


Using Vero cells transformed with the wild-type gene for ICP4 as the permissive host cell, we isolated herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) mutants containing deletions in both copies of the ICP4 gene. The mutants, d120 and d202, contained deletions of 4.1 and 0.5 kilobases, respectively, in each copy of ICP4. ICP4 mRNA synthesized in d202-infected Vero cells was 0.5 kilobases smaller than that synthesized in cells infected with the wild-type virus. No ICP4 mRNA was detected in d120-infected Vero cells. d120 and d202 specified polypeptides that reacted with ICP4 antiserum and were smaller than the wild-type ICP4 polypeptide by 130 and 30 kilodaltons, respectively. The only other HSV-1 gene products detectable on infection of Vero cells with d120 and d202 were ICP6 (of the early kinetic class of HSV-1 polypeptides), ICP0 (immediate early), ICP22 (immediate early), and ICP27 (immediate early). Immediate-early polypeptides ICP0 and ICP27 were expressed to a higher level in Vero cells infected with an ICP4 temperature-sensitive (ts) mutant (tsB32) at 39 degrees C, indicating immediate-early stimulatory activity associated with the ts ICP4 polypeptide. In addition, the patterns of complementation of d120, d202, and tsB32 in ICP4-transformed cells also demonstrated inhibitory activity associated with the ts form of the ICP4 polypeptide.