Murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (MHV-68) is a natural pathogen of murid rodents and displays similar pathobiological characteristics to those of the human gammaherpesvirus Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). However, in contrast to EBV, MHV-68 will replicate in epithelial cells in vitro. It has therefore been proposed that MHV-68 may be of use as a model for the study of gammaherpesviruses, EBV in particular, both in vitro and in vivo. The EBV homolog of herpes simplex virus glycoprotein B (gB), termed gp110, is somewhat unusual compared with those of many other herpesviruses. We therefore decided to characterize the homolog of gB encoded by MHV-68 (termed MHV gB) to observe the properties of a gammaherpesvirus gB produced in epithelial cells and also to test the relatedness of MHV-68 and EBV. The MHV gB-coding sequence was determined from cloned DNA. The predicted amino acid sequence shared closest homology with gammaherpesvirus gB homologs. Biochemical analysis showed that MHV gB was a glycoprotein with a molecular weight of 105,000. However, the glycans were of the N-linked, high-mannose type, indicating retention in the endoplasmic reticulum. In line with this, MHV gB was localized to the cytoplasm and nuclear margins of infected cells but was not detected on the cell surface or in virions. Additionally, anti-MHV gB antisera were nonneutralizing. Thus, the MHV gB was unlike many other herpesvirus gBs but was extremely similar to the EBV gB. This highlights the close relationship between MHV-68 and EBV and underlines the potential of MHV-68 as a model for EBV in epithelial cells both in vitro and in vivo.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Virology|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 1994|