Transient expression assays measuring induction of an equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1) immediate early (IE) promoter construct, pIEβgal, were used to examine trans-induction of the IE gene (IR1) promoter by superinfection with intact EHV-1 (Kentucky A strain), uv-inactivated EHV-1, or EHV-1 stocks highly enriched for defective interfering particles (DIPs), and by cotransfection with plasmids containing EHV-1 DNA fragments. Our results confirm reports by others in that the IE promoter can be induced by both intact and uv-inactivated EHV-1 and provide evidence that DIP-rich virus stocks also possess transinducing activity. Furthermore, IE promoter activity was induced by cotransfection of the promoter construct with either of two plasmids containing restriction enzyme DNA fragments that span ORF12, the putative EHV-1 homolog of the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) α-trans-inducing factor (α-TIF) gene, UL48, or by cotransfection with an isolated DNA fragment containing only ORF12, while no transactivation was associated with plasmids linearized by restriction enzyme digestion at a single site within ORF12. These data indicate that, despite its predicted lack of an acidic carboxy terminus (a region essential in HSV-1 α-TIF for trans-inducing activity), the EHV-1 ORF12 product is a functional α-TIF.
ASJC Scopus subject areas