Herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1 DNA synthesis and packaging occur within the nuclei of infected cells; however, the extent to which the two processes are coupled remains unclear. Correct packaging is thought to be dependent upon DNA debranching or other repair processes, and such events commonly involve new DNA synthesis. Furthermore, the HSV UL15 gene product, essential for packaging, nevertheless localizes to sites of active DNA replication and may link the two events. It has previously been difficult to determine whether packaging requires concomitant DNA synthesis due to the complexity of these processes and of the viral life cycle; however, we have recently described a model system which simplifies the study of HSV assembly. Cells infected with HSV strain tsProt.A accumulate unpackaged capsids at the nonpermissive temperature of 39°C. Following release of the temperature block, these capsids proceed to package viral DNA in a single, synchronous wave. Here we report that, when DNA replication was inhibited prior to release of the temperature block, DNA packaging and later events in viral assembly nevertheless occurred at near-normal levels. We conclude that, under our conditions, HSV DNA packaging does not require detectable levels of DNA synthesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science