Here we demonstrate that open reading frame 16 (ORF16) of the oncogenic herpesvirus saimiri protects cells from heterologous virus-induced apoptosis. The BH1 and BH2 homology domains are highly conserved in ORF16, and ORF16 heterodimerizes with Bcl-2 family members Bax and Bak. However, ORF16 lacks the core sequence of the conserved BH3 homology domain, suggesting that this region is not essential for anti-apoptotic activity. Conservation of a functional bcl-2 homolog among gammaherpesviruses suggests that inhibition of programmed cell death is important in the biology of these viruses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science