Attenuated phenotypes and analysis of a herpes simplex virus 1 strain with partial deletion of the UL7, UL41 and LAT genes
We previously constructed a herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) UL7 mutant virus (M1) and showed that a partial deletion mutation of the UL7 gene led to a lower proliferative rate and an attenuated phenotype. Using the M1 mutant, we further modified the UL41 gene, which encodes another tegument protein, and the latency-associated transcript (LAT) gene. Observations of the resulting mutants with modified UL7 and UL41 (M2) or UL7, UL41 and LAT (M3) genes indicated attenuated phenotypes, with lower proliferative ratios in various cells, non-lethal infections in mice and lower viral loads in nervous tissues compared with the wild-type strain. Furthermore, no LAT stable intron could be detected in the trigeminal ganglion of M3-infected animals. The results obtained with the three HSV-1 mutants indicate that the M3 mutant is an attenuated strain with low pathogenicity during both acute and latent infections. Together, the results support the use of the M3 mutant as a candidate for the development of an HSV-1 vaccine.
Keywordsherpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) UL7 UL41 LAT mutant
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