In order to evaluate the conditions for optimal expression and immunogenicity of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) proteins in a herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) vector, we selected the VZV glycoprotein E (gE), encoded by ORF 68 and the VZV product of ORF 62, an immediate-early major tegument protein (IE62). Three HSV/VZV recombinants were generated: (1) VZV gE protein coding sequences along with the promoter region were inserted into the thymidine kinase (TK) gene of HSV-1 strain KOS; (2) VZV gE expressed from the HSV-1 ICP4 promoter was inserted into the glycoprotein C (gC) gene of HSV-1 strain F; and (3) VZV IE62 protein coding sequences under the control of the HSV-1 ICP4 promoter were inserted into the gC gene of HSV-1 strain F. Immunoblot analysis and immunoperoxidase staining of infected cell monolayers demonstrated vector expression of VZV proteins. Following intracranial inoculation in mice, both VZV gE-HSV (TK) and VZV IE62-HSV (gC) induced an IgG response against VZV gE or VZV IE62. When tested in cytotoxicity assays using T-lymphocytes from VZV immune human donors, the range of precursor frequencies for T-lymphocytes that recognized VZV gE or VZV IE62 was similar whether these proteins were expressed by HSV-1 or a vaccinia vector. These experiments demonstrate that HSV-1 is a competent vector for expression of these VZV proteins and support the feasibility of engineering a combined vaccine for these closely related alpha-herpesviruses.
View details for Web of Science ID A1997WH07400005
View details for PubMedID 9037375