The latency-associated gene of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) interferes with superinfection by HSV-1

Nurith Mador, Amos Panet, Israel Steiner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

During herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) lifelong latency in human peripheral sensory ganglia (PSG), only the viral latency-associated transcript (LAT) gene is expressed. This raises the possibility that this gene is involved in establishment of latency of the virus, its maintenance, or reactivation. Here we present data that indicate yet another independent function of the LAT gene: interference with HSV-1 superinfection of latently infected neurons. Neuronal cells stably expressing the LATs are protected from infection with HSV-1, but not from infection by other RNA and DNA viruses, including HSV-2. These unexpected findings may explain the observation that human PSG are latently infected with just a single strain of HSV-1, despite repeated exposure during life to multiple viral strains. Thus, the LATs may protect the latent HSV-1 reservoir from cytopathic superinfections, and at the same time the host is protected at the viral entry site from HSV-1 insults that may eventually cause viral encephalitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-102
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of NeuroVirology
Volume8
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Herpes simplex virus
  • Latent infection
  • Superinfection
  • Viral pathogenesis

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