Structure and genetic complexity of the genomes of herpesvirus defective-interfering particles associated with oncogenic transformation and persistent infection

R. P. Baumann, S. A. Dauenhauer, Gretchen B Caughman, J. Staczek, D. J. O'Callaghan

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25 Scopus citations


The complexity and structural organization of defective-interfering (DI) particle DNA of equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) have been elucidated by using restriction enzyme and Southern blot hybridization analyses. DI particles were generated by serial high-multiplicity passage of EHV-1 in L-M cells, and total viral DNA was extracted from virus purified from supernatants of these serial passages. EHV-1 DI particle DNA was quantitatively separated from standard (STD) DNA by several cycles of CsCl isopycnic banding in a vertical rotor. Restriction endonuclease digestion profiles of pure DI DNA were completely different from the mapped patterns observed for EHV-1 STD DNA. Digestion of pure defective DNA with restriction enzymes (BglII, EcoRI, and XbaI), for which there are few or no cleavage sites within the S (short) region of the EHV-1 STD genome, yielded high-molecular-weight supermolar DNA bands, suggesting that a large subgenomic repeat unit was present in defective DNA. DNA blot hybridization analysis with the BglII supermolar fragment of defective DNA, intact DI particle genomic DNA, and EHV-1 STD DNA restriction enzyme fragments as 32P-labeled probes indicated that the EHV-1 DI particle genome originates predominately from the STD DNA S region (0.77 to 1.00 map units) and to a lesser extent from the left terminus of the unique long [U(L)] region (0.00 to 0.05 map units). None of the EHV-1 DNA sequences associated to date with EHV-1 oncogenesis (0.32 to 0.38 map units; O'Callaghan et al. in B. Roizman [ed.], Herpesviruses, in press; Robinson et al., Cell 32:204-219, 1983, and Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., U.S.A., 78:6684-6688, 1981) were detected in the DI particle DNA. The importance of these data with regard to DNA replication of DI particles and the role of DI particles in one model system of EHV-1 oncogenic transformation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-21
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 17 1984
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology

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