Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is an alphaherpesvirus that causes two diseases, chickenpox and zoster. VZV open reading frame 4 (ORF4) encodes the immediate-early 4 (IE4) protein, which is conserved among alphaherpesvirus and has transactivation activity in transient transfections. To determine whether the ORF4 gene product is essential for viral replication, we used VZV cosmids to remove ORF4 from the VZV genome. Deleting ORF4 was incompatible with recovery of infectious virus, whereas transfections done by using repaired cosmids with ORF4 inserted at a nonnative site yielded virus. To analyze the functional domain of IE4, we introduced a mutation altering the C-terminal amino acids, KYFKC (K443S), which was designed to disrupt the dimerization of IE4 protein. Transfections with these mutant cosmids yielded no virus, indicating that this KYFKC motif was essential for IE4 function.
View details for DOI 10.1128/JVI.77.22.12369-12372.2003
View details for Web of Science ID 000186294300053
View details for PubMedID 14581575