Mutagenicity of herpes simplex virus type 1 in a shuttle vector

Bih-Chen Charles Hwang, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


The shuttle vector plasmid pZ189 was used to find the kinds of mutations that are induced by herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1). In cells infected by HSV-1 the frequency of mutation in supF gene, the mutagenesis marker, was increased over background by from two- to seven-fold, reaching 0.14-0.45%. No increase was induced by infection by vaccinia virus under the same conditions. Mutagenesis was an early event, showing a four-fold increase in mutation frequency at only two hours after infection, and peaking at a seven-fold increase at four hours after infection. DNA sequencing and gel electrophoresis analysis were performed on 105 HSV-1 induced mutants and 65 spontaneous mutants and provided the following information: (1) A change in plasmid size was seen in 54% of HSV-1 related mutants, compared with only 37% of spontaneous mutants. (2) Among point mutations, the predominant type was G:C to A:T transition, which accounted for 51% of point mutations in mutants isolated from cells infected with HSV-1, and 32% of point mutations in spontaneous mutants. (3) Deletions of DNA were seen in HSV-1 related mutants at a frequency of 40%, compared with 29% in spontaneous mutants. The HSV-1 related deletions were about half the length of spontaneous mutants and three contained short filler sequences. (4) Fifteen (15%) of HSV-1 induced mutants revealed the altered restriction patterns on agarose gel electrophoresis analysis and were due either to rearrangements of plasmid DNA, and/or to insertion of sequences derived from chromosomal DNA (seven plasmids). No insertions of DNA from HSV-1 were detected. Among spontaneous mutants, only 5 (7.7%) were rearrangements and none had inserted chromosomal DNA. (5) DNA sequence analysis of seven plasmids with inserted chromosomal DNA revealed that four cases had repetitive DNA sequences integrated and the other three were unidentified sequences from the GenBank database. Three repetitive DNA included $\alpha$ satellite, Alu and KpnI family sequences. The other sequence was identified as tRNA-like component. The observed mutations have implications for the mechanism of malignant transformation of cells by HSV-1.

Subject Area

Molecular biology

Recommended Citation

Hwang, Bih-Chen Charles, "Mutagenicity of herpes simplex virus type 1 in a shuttle vector" (1989). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI8924469.