Submitted to: Avian Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 14, 2012
Publication Date: June 1, 2013
Citation: Volkening, J.D., Spatz, S.J. 2013. Identification and characterization of the genomic termini and cleavage/packaging signals of gallid herpesvirus 2. Avian Diseases. 57(2):401-408. Interpretive Summary: We have determined the nucleotide sequence of the site necessary for packaging of the viral deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) into virion capsids. This site is not only involved in packaging but also cleavage of the concatameric viral DNA into individual unit length viral genomes. Because of this characterization we were able to determine the nucleotide sequences at the ends of the viral genomes. This information will be helpful in future experiments designed to exploit this data.
Technical Abstract: Herpesvirus replication within infected host cells results in concatameric head-to-tail genomes which are cleaved at specific sites and packaged into the viral capsid by a complex of proteins. The sites of cleavage have been characterized for a number of herpesviruses and conserved signaling sequences involved in cleavage and packaging have been identified. We have experimentally identified the specific cleavage site of the gallid herpesvirus type 2 (GaHV-2) strain CU-2 and located the conserved cleavage/packaging motifs pac-1 and pac-2 by comparative analysis. Cleavage occurs primarily between pac-1 and pac-2 signals which are brought into proximity at the junctions of adjacent a sequences and at a distance of 9 bp from the DR-1 repeat motif. The results are consistent with previous findings in other herpesviruses and should prove useful in the future study of the GaHV-2 genome and with its manipulation in the laboratory.