Cloned DNA fragments from herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1 (strain Patton) were tested for activation of endogenous mouse retrovirus in BALB/3T3 cells. Activation within the L region of HSV-1 DNA was observed with the ∼3.4-kilobase pair (kbp) BamHI fragment which contains the virus thymidine kinase (TK) gene, and the ∼5.3-kbp EcoRI L fragment. Activation by the TK-containing BamHI fragment was abrogated by digestion with EcoRI. Activation within the S region of HSV-1 DNA was observed with the ∼15.2-kbp EcoRI H ragment and the ∼8.4-kbp Eco RI/HindIII H/G fragment. Assaying for retrovirus activation serves as an additional parameter for mapping biological functions within the HSV genome.
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