The protein products of II viral genomic loci cooperate in a transient cotransfection assay to mediate lytic-phase DNA replication of oriLyt, the human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) origin of replication. Six of these genes have homology with the well-characterized herpes simplex virus replication genes and encode core replication machinery proteins that are typically essential for DNA synthesis. The remaining five HCMV gene loci, initially referred to as auxiliary components, include several known immediate-early (IE) transcriptional regulatory proteins as well as genes encoding functionally uncharacterized polypeptides. Some or all of the auxiliary components may be necessary in trans to replicate the HCMV oriLyt only because they are required for efficient expression or transactivation of the native early promoters and 3' processing elements included in the genomic clones. Therefore, we reassessed the requirements for the auxiliary components by adding constitutive heterologous promoters and control signals to the coding regions and carrying out transient DpnI replication assays in cotransfected Vero cells. The results revealed that in the presence of the UL69 posttranscriptional activator and the remaining auxiliary polypeptides, UL84 was the only auxiliary component that could not be omitted to obtain oriLyt- dependent DNA replication. Nevertheless, in human diploid fibroblasts, some additional auxiliary loci as well as UL84 were critical. There was also an obligatory requirement for UL84, in cooperation with two other auxiliary factors, UL112-113 and IE2, and the core machinery, to constitute the minimal HCMV proteins necessary to direct oriLyt-dependent DNA amplification. However, the Epstein-Barr virus core replication genes could substitute for the HCMV core genes, and in these circumstances, UL84 alone directed amplification of HCMV oriLyt. Moreover, there was also an absolute requirement for UL84 along with the core and other auxiliary factors for the formation of intranuclear replication compartments as assayed by immunofluorescence in transient DNA cotransfection assays. These compartments were typical of those associated with active viral DNA replication in HCMV- infected cells, they incorporated pulse-labeled bromodeoxyuridine, and their formation was both phosphonoacetic acid sensitive and oriLyt dependent. These results demonstrate that UL84 is obligatory for both intranuclear replication compartment formation and origin-dependent DNA amplification and suggest that it is a key viral component in promoting the initiation of HCMV oriLyt- directed DNA replication.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science